Introducing The Cover Stars of Vanity Fair's 28th Annual Hollywood Issue - Idris Elba, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, and Simu Liu
Last year, he played a grizzled tough guy in the revisionist Western The Harder They Fall. And right now he’s in London shooting Netflix’s first Luther movie, based on the hit TV series that has earned him four Emmy nominations since he took on the role of the troubled detective in 2010. Making a film version in this shadowy world was always high on his bucket list, and he hopes for more. “For those that like the exploration of the dark side of human beings, it’s well done, it’s well written,” Elba says.
Behind the awards and accolades hails a woman from Brick City—Newark, New Jersey, for the uninitiated—who bursts with love for her hometown. “There was a sense of culture,” Rodriguez recalls. “There was a sense of familia. There was a sense of understanding. Newark is a predominantly African American, heavily Portuguese area—just a marginalized area in general. There was beauty in that.”
While the world awaits the Shang-Chi sequel, Liu’s plan is to double down on playing the everyman, something he says he admires about fellow MCU-er Chris Pratt’s trajectory. (His other career crush: Michael B. Jordan. “Obviously I don’t have his face or pectorals, but I think he’s a great guiding north star,” Liu says of Jordan’s business acumen.) Just last week, Liu was reportedly in talks to join the Warner Bros. Barbie movie with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.
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