Elba Talks Heimdall Flap
The Wire Actor on the Hubbub Over Him Playing a God in Thor
IGN.com, 29 April 2010
British actor Idris Elba has spoken out about the fanboy outrage over his casting as Heimdall in Marvel's Thor movie. Elba is black; Heimdall has traditionally been portrayed as white. Director Kenneth Branagh switched it up by casting the Wire and Losers actor as the guardian of Asgard's Rainbow Bridge.
The Guardian pointed out the following discussion Elba had about the matter with the U.K. magazine TV Times. "There has been a big debate about it: can a black man play a Nordic character?" said Elba. "Hang about, Thor's mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That's OK, but the colour of my skin is wrong?"
During an earlier appearance on the British TV show Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, Elba said his take on Heimdall was "Norse by way of Hackney, Canning Town." He added, "I was cast in Thor and I'm cast as a Nordic god ... I think that's a sign of the times for the future."
The Guardian quotes the actor's U.K. agent as saying Elba did the film because "he liked the script and he liked the movie and he had always wanted to work with Kenneth Branagh. It wasn't like a statement: 'Oh, I'm going to do this.' It's always a purely creative decision."