While you wait impatiently for Hollywood to swear in Idris Elba as the next James Bond, here’s something to tide you over: On Monday, People revealed that the Luther actor is this year’s Sexiest Man Alive, an announcement that made the Internet collectively nod its head and say, “Duh.” In a time of such upheaval and uncertainty, it’s comforting to see a title bestowed upon the most deserving, highest-qualified candidate.
Even Elba, it seems, is in full agreement that he’s the best man for the job, especially seeing as how he once looked straight into the camera (in character on The Office, but still) and said, “I am aware of the effect I have on women.” When asked about his initial reaction to the prestigious designation in an interview with People to accompany his SMA cover shoot, Elba recalled, “I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’ Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’” He added, “But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise—an ego boost for sure.”
He also talked rapt readers through his evolution from a gangly teenage athlete in London to a six-foot-three international thirst trap. “I was very tall and skinny. And my name was Idrissa Akuna Elba, okay? I got picked on a little bit,” he said. “But as soon as I could grow a mustache, I was the coolest kid on the block. Grew a mustache, had some muscles, bonkers.” Aspiring Sexiest Men Alive, take note: All you need to do is cut a few extraneous letters from your first name, grow some facial hair, and boom—you’ll be on the cover of People in no time.
The response to the reveal has been overwhelmingly positive, likely since most people were already well aware of Elba’s long-standing status as the sexiest man alive (sorry, Blake Shelton). The SMA gig may not be a democratically elected one, but this sure does feels like a win for the people.
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