I always get asked this question and I never really have a satisfactory answer. I don’t know what it feels like to be a sex symbol. And I woke up in the morning and saw the same face, you know what I mean? It doesn’t really.. um.. but I will say this and I’ve said this in the press before, man, you know…Black men, we’re never called sexy, you know what I mean? We’re not called sexy. We’re called athletic, and intense. We’re called-described as you know, being the strong type, the silent type, but you’re never really described as the sexy [type]. Well, I’m saying in general – there’s a real generalization to what I’m saying, but in general the word sexy doesn’t apply to black men in particular. Or in a script, they don’t say Sexy. They say a muscular black man, an intense black guy. Or good-looking, but they won’t say sexy.
Idris Elba on being labeled a sex symbol