Another reason to obsess over Idris Elba: He wears flip-flops during interviews (his toes are as beautiful as he is, FYI).
“Hey, why not? I’m in Miami!” said the star of “The Dark Tower,” based on the sci-fi novels by Stephen King.
In the movie, out Friday, Elba plays The Gunslinger, a time- and planet-traveling warrior hunting The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), a beyond evil villain intent on destroying the universe.
Although Elba’s dressed casually for the press junket, held at the Faena Miami Beach Hotel on Wednesday, his costume for “The Dark Tower” was a pretty big deal.
Think “Westworld” meets “The Matrix.”
“Yeah, I will say I got to wear some cool boots,” laughed Elba. “Also, the long coat and all that leather. Then there’s this bit in the middle designed like body armor.”
The 44-year-old Brit had some input on what The Gunslinger would wear.
“We had a little more artistic license; I enjoyed the process,” said Elba. “We got rid of the hat, though we do have the red scarf you see in the pictures [in the books].”
Elba said he imagined his character more of a knight than a cowboy. A knight with heavy-duty artillery.
“We kind of redesigned the guns, too. They’re made of Excalibur — an old, very tough metal. When he shoots it, it kind of glows.”
The British actor is no stranger to badass roles — e.g, a sharply dressed drug lord in “The Wire”; a tortured detective in “Luther”; a criminal mastermind in “Takers” — so playing the reticent, manly hero came easily.
“You may think a Clint Eastwood type for this role, but I guess I was the studio’s No. 1 choice,” Elba said. “I was honored and impressed. I don’t think they said, ‘Let’s change the ethnicity,’ just, ‘Let’s go for the right actor.’ It’s a complex role, and I like complex roles.”
Though the movie can be intense and violent, there are some lighter moments — like when The Gunslinger is in present day New York City, trying a Coca-Cola for the first time.
“I’m glad I could provide a little levity. I don’t get to do much comedy.”
What else would you expect from Stephen King, though? He has mastered the art of humor and horror like few others.
The Maine-based horror writer was actually on set a few times.
“He was never intrusive, very respectful,” remembered Elba of the prolific author. “I had to give him a hug. I was like, ‘You need a hug. You’re so dark. What’s going on up there?’ But such a genius. I enjoyed working with him.”