Idris Elba: I wasn't attractive until recently

Idris Elba thinks it's only recently "other races" have started finding him attractive.

FILE: Idris Elba. Picture: @idriselba/Twitter.

LONDON – Idris Elba thinks it's only recently "other races" have started finding him attractive.

The 46-year-old actor was recently named Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine but he doesn't think he's necessarily considered conventionally "beautiful" in many parts of the world.

He said: "Going back, the kind of place the Spot (90s London nightclub) was, if I saw you and you saw me, in that environment, which was very culturally integrated, you're a very good-looking person ... I'd have gone, 'All right!' Or you might have found me ... And to us, coming from that environment, it was a sexy bar, and it was sexy because it was culturally liberated.

"It was good-looking people, different races, having a good time.

"But then, if I go to Newcastle, maybe I'm not ... I don't know whether they think I'm attractive up there. Because I don't look like the guys who are considered beautiful there.

"I went to America, and it was very much, I was a good-looking actor, but only to black women. And recently - but only recently - other races have gone, 'Oh. He's very attractive.' "

The Mountain Between Us actor admitted he can be "quite" vain and is starting to notice the effects of ageing.

He told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I've noticed the differences from when I was 29. I've noticed how much slower things heal, how much harder it is to get rid of your tub ..."

Idris doesn't think it's harder to be a man in Hollywood now in the age of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.

He said: "It's only difficult if you're a man with something to hide."

The 'Luther' actor admitted he wishes he didn't have to be in the public eye, though he's happy to have been recognised for his work.

He said: "I think people don't realise that, when you say 'famous' ... It's one thing to be famous, as in, celebrated for your work, another to be in the public eye

"If I could go back, would I want to be in the public eye? No."