Idris Elba says playing John Luther

Idris Elba Says Playing John Luther Got Him ‘Addicted to the Lifestyle’

Idris Elba loves playing John Luther on the grizzly BBC cop drama Luther. Maybe a little too much. In an interview with EW, the actor opened up on the toll such a dark character takes on him.

It’s one of those career characters,” Elba explained. “I’ve been addicted to the lifestyle and expressive nature of Luther for a while. I always find myself needing therapy both before and after I play him. Afterwards, I need a nice break, I get to reset, it’s often when I make really good music or DJ great sets, because I’ve been in such a dark place for a long time that it’s nice to get out.”

The show’s upcoming fifth season will also see the return of Luther’s nemesis, Alice. Played by Ruth Wilson (The Affair), the character supposedly died in off-screen between the third and fourth seasons.

There is no Luther without Alice. She’s the bad guy that will never die. It’s the unnatural element that feels natural. It’s like the pit bull and the cat chilling out; you expect by nature that something might be off here, but what you actually get is a sweet harmony, which might not be really sweet, but they get each other — and they also get each other into trouble.

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The four-part season will be written by Luther creator Neil Cross (Hard Sun). First premiering in 2010, Elba has anchored the series with his portrayal of the obsessive detective, which has earned a Golden Globe award, a Screen Actors Guild award, an NAACP Image Award, a Critics’ Choice Award, and four Emmy nominations.

Luther season five will premiere on BBC America this Sunday.


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