Idris Elba Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Project Illiteracy and His Dream Role

Idris Elba has his eyes set on a role that has not even been created for the movies yet. Page Six reports that the British actor is determined to bring THE ALCHEMIST to the big screen. "THE ALCHEMIST is one of the first books I read that I loved. THE ALCHEMIST is a really beautiful story, and I really would love to play that character and be in that film. It's a great, great story. Very simple, but it has a real touchstone and heart to it," he said.

Elba is no stranger to beautiful characters. He rose to fame in HBO's hit drama THE WIRE and went on to win a Golden Globe for the miniseries LUTHER and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his supporting role in BEASTS OF NO NATION.

As the 45-year-old becomes on of Hollywood's biggest stars, he recognizes that diversity is still a problem in Hollywood. But, he also acknowledges the progress being made.

"You know, Hollywood is more and more affected by everyday people... and that's a multicultural society for the most part. Especially in England where I live. There's a massive move towards that. The progress is slow, but it's permanent. And that's really important. It's the same thing both in the U.S. and the U.K. The progress is a slow move towards the right direction. And it's a slow, permanent move," he said.

Elba continues to be in tune with HEARTBEAT of the world, working as an ambassador for the Prince's Trust, a U.K.-based charity founded by Prince Charles and working for his passion project, Project Literacy, raising awareness for worldwide adult illiteracy.

"It doesn't surprise me that it's a worldwide problem, not just a U.S. issue. What you have to understand about illiteracy is that it's very hard to admit it. And it's easy to go around, pretending you can read or write... It doesn't surprise me it's such a huge problem because it's almost undetectable," he said.

Elba is currently promoting his new film THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US with Kate Winslet, but he never stops bringing awareness to his passion project.

"I consider myself to be a self-taught person. Especially when it comes to my profession and pursuing the things I want to accomplish. I've always taught myself how do it. And illiteracy is a crisis amongst adults. I just want to raise some awareness around it," he said.

Photo credit: RD / Orchon / Retna Digital

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