LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named Idris Elba as 2018's Sexiest Man Alive, and the British actor says the honour has given him a boost of self-confidence.
Elba, who starred in "The Wire" and "Luther," was surprised after being crowned this year's winner, the magazine said.
"I was like, 'Come on, no way. Really?'" he told the magazine. "Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, 'Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.' But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure."
Elba's selection was revealed on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon," with the actor appearing via satellite from London. Fallon had Elba perform poses to match the magazine's cover description of him as a "sweet, smouldering superstar." Elba said of his selection, "My mom is going to be very, very proud."
The actor has also starred in Marvel's "Thor" franchise and as Nelson Mandela in the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."
The actor has a 16-year-old daughter, Isan, and a four-year-old son, Winston, from previous relationships.
Elba told People about his upbringing as an only child of African immigrants growing up in East London. The actor said his parents were strict and he got picked on often while attending an all-boys school despite playing an array of sports including football, basketball, cricket, hockey and rugby.
"I was very tall and skinny," recalled Elba, who stands at 6-foot-3. "And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, OK? I got picked on a little bit. But again, as soon as I could grow a moustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a moustache, had some muscles, bonkers."
Past winners include Dwayne Johnson, David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, Adam Levine, Channing Tatum and last year's honoree, country star Blake Shelton.
The latter, however, had the internet flabbergasted, as Shelton was a unique choice compared to previous titleholders.
Despite this, People magazine appears to have redeemed itself with its 2018 choice. Since the announcement, social media users have been going gaga over Elba.
Idris Elba is People's 2018 'Sexiest Man Alive'— Bianca Del Pilar Soto Alarcon (@biancaadelpilar) November 6, 2018
1. This is the type of news I needed to hear
2. I completely agree—LOOK. AT. THE. MAN. 😍 pic.twitter.com/nL2VgReb83
Now that's what I'm talking about. I mean, last year when they chose Blake @blakeshelton (who I'm sure is a nice guy), I about cried from the injustice. Sexy is all about @idriselba https://t.co/Anvzd4iqn6— Susan Higgins 🌊 (@Lily2Susan) November 6, 2018
people acting like we didn't already know idris elba was the sexiest man alive pic.twitter.com/QyiAyo6L46— alex(is)⚡💜 | got kastle? (@ltfrankcastIe) November 6, 2018
THIS TWEET ACTUALLY AGED QUITE WELL CONGRATS TO IDRIS ELBA https://t.co/Mh4Gott1vE— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) November 6, 2018
Elba will be featured in a special double issue that will hit newsstands Friday. The actor said he tries to live life with few regrets.
"Life isn't about thinking about what you should have done," he said. "I think everyone should adopt the philosophy that tomorrow is not promised so just go for it today. You might as well do it to your heart's content."
With files from Isabelle Khoo
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