ENTERTAINMENT

Idris Elba says he’s been in therapy to address ‘unhealthy habits’ as a ‘workaholic’

“I’m a workaholic. I’m an absolute workaholic. And that isn’t great for life, generally. Nothing that’s too extreme is good,” he said.

Published on October 3, 2023

Idris Elba may be an “absolute workaholic,” but he’s working on it.

The Luther star said on the Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast on Monday that he’s been in therapy for about a year addressing “unhealthy habits” stemming from his love of his work.

“In my therapy I’ve been thinking a lot about changing,” he said. “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.”

Elba, who, in addition to being an in-demand actor also has a side hustle as a DJ as well as writing, directing and producing credits to his name, admitted that he works in an industry that rewards the toxic routines he is trying to shed.

Idris Elba at the world premiere of ‘Hijack’ on June 27, 2023.
Jeff Spicer/Getty

“I’m a workaholic. I’m an absolute workaholic. And that isn’t great for life, generally. Nothing that’s too extreme is good. Everything needs balance, but I’m rewarded massively to be a workaholic,” he explained.

However, the five-time Emmy nominee has found himself in a bit of a pickle, because while he said he knows he’s “got to adjust” his views, he also finds himself “relaxed” by work and doesn’t want to necessarily work less.

“I’m exhilarated by [my work] and I’m also so relaxed by it. I could work 10 days on a film, underwater sequences holding my breath for six minutes, and come back and sit in [the studio] and [feel relaxed], more so than sitting on the sofa watching the TV with the family — which is bad right?” he added. “This is the part where I’ve got to normalize what makes me relaxed. It can’t be all work.”

Elba recently starred in the Apple TV+ thriller Hijack. Next up, he will voice the role of Knuckles in next year’s Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and star with Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Carla Gugino, and John Cena in the action thriller Heads of State.

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