Idris Elba revealed that he’s in therapy for a year to deal with “unhealthy habits” that he’s having difficulty breaking.
During a candid conversation on the “Changes With Annie Macmanus” podcast, the actor said he’s “been thinking a lot about changing” during his therapy sessions.
“It’s not because I don’t like myself or anything like that, it’s just that I have some unhealthy habits that have just really formed,” he said on the podcast, released on Monday. “You know, I work in an industry that I’m rewarded for those unhealthy habits.”
Elba explained that he’s both “selfish” and “an absolute workaholic,” which he admitted “isn’t great for life, generally.”
“But I’m rewarded ― massively ― to be a workaholic,” the DJ said, adding that he is someone who is used to the idea of “Oh, I’m not going to see my family for six months.”
Elba accepts the Male Actor in a Supporting Role award for "Beasts of No Nation" onstage during The 22nd Annual SAC Awards on Jan. 30, 2016, in Los Angeles.
He said that he finds “a lot of our childhood is at the root of it,” and could explain some of his habits.
“The things that make me relaxed end up being work,” he said, talking about his home studio and DJ work, which leaves him both “exhilarated” and “so relaxed.” The same goes for acting.
“I could have worked 10 days on a film, underwater sequences, holding my breath for six minutes and come back and sit in here and be [able to relax more] than sitting on the sofa watching TV with the family, which is bad, right?” he said. “And this is the part where I’ve got to sort of normalize, if you like, what makes me relaxed. Can’t be all work.”
Elba indeed holds many titles, as the podcast description for his episode lists off that he’s an “award-winning actor, a film director, a producer, a DJ and rapper, entrepreneur, podcaster, UN goodwill ambassador, kickboxer” and more.
And while the actor confessed that he is most relaxed by working, he did open up about one of his “most stressful” gigs to date: performing at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding reception in 2018.
Elba arrives with his then-fiancee, Sabrina Dhowre, for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018.
“This wasn’t like my cousin’s wedding,” Elba said during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” back in 2021.
“This was like, you know, this wasn’t at the community hall, the reception. This was a big deal,” he explained, adding that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “good friends and I wanted to make sure they had a good time, so there was a lot of pressure.”