Idris Elba Pretended to Be American to Get on 'The Wire'

Idris Elba shared the hilarious tale of how he got his gig as Stringer Bell on HBO's 'The Wire' during his conversation with Sean Evans on 'Hot Ones.'

With the long-awaited Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw hitting theaters on Aug. 2, it was high time for the acclaimed actor to join Sean Evans for a rousing edition of First We Feast's Hot Ones. You should've already dug into the hilarious new episode, but if you haven't, Idris decided to share an intriguing tidbit about being cast on HBO's The Wire.

At the 16:16 mark in the above video, Sean inquires about Elba playing the iconic Stringer Bell on the acclaimed series, asking Elba if it was true that series creator David Simon was unaware of his English accent. Elba admits that it's true, but goes a step further in explaining why Simon didn't know about his accent in the first place, saying that because Simon told Wire casting director that this series was set in Baltimore, he didn't want non-American actors cast.

"Alexa Fogel was a casting director that was really into seeing new talent," Elba says. "She said 'I love you, I gotta bring you into this audition, but you have to promise that you can't tell him you're from East London.'" Fogel apparently told Elba—who was living in Brooklyn at the time—that he had to come in and just speak in an American accent.

Elba explains that when the fourth audition came around, they "changed the tactic" on him, asking him about his life and growing up. "My parents told me not to lie—you gotta look someone in the eye and be honest," Elba admits. That's when he had to spill the beans and admit that he was from East London. "Don't fire Alexa, she told me not to tell you guys," Elba says he admitted. West shouted "I knew it" and David ended up giving him the job, but instead of giving him the role of Avon Barksdale, he gave Elba the role of Stringer Bell.

For more from Idris Elba's Hot Ones appearance, check out the full video up above.

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