Many Idris Elba fans became connected to his work from his playing Stringer Bell in HBO’s The Wire. However, the role could have been the breakout character for another popular actor, Sterling K. Brown.
In an interview with Men’s Health Journal, Brown revealed how he auditioned for the role that Elba is now known for. Incredibly, other actors who were auditioning with him included Mahershala Ali, Anthony Mackie and Mike Colter.
“I remember auditioning for The Wire and being very close to Stringer Bell,” he said. “What’s been really cool for me in terms of the usual suspects is that it has been a situation of all love. We were like, ‘Somebody’s gonna get the gig. I hope it’s you.’”
He went on to talk about how competitive roles were for him and other actors, saying, “At any point 90 percent of all the acting-union members are unemployed, and you’re just fighting to be part of the rotating two percent.”
“There’s so much rejection that you have to be willing to deal with and let it sort of roll off your back. There are people I know who are absolutely brilliant who had to segue into something else in life.”
What’s ironic, though, is that the actors who were all vying for The Wire role have not only gone on to have stellar careers but have all been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ali played Cottonmouth in Luke Cage, opposite Colter, who played the title character. Mackie, of course, is a huge part of the film series as The Falcon, who became the new Captain America after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Brown played N’Jobu, King T’Chaka’s brother and Killmonger’s father in Black Panther. Elba played the Asgardian gatekeeper Heimdall.
Photo: Getty Images
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