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Idris Elba Reveals He Was Once Kicked Out of Robert De Niro’s Office

By Michael Feb 26, 2024
Idris Elba Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Idris Elba took a trip down memory lane during the 2024 Screen Actors Guild Awards and recalled a hilarious story involving Robert De Niro.

“When I was just starting out in this business, I was 19 years old. I scammed my way up to Robert De Niro’s office in Tribeca. Auditions were taking place for A Bronx Tale, and they started that week,” Elba, 51, said on Saturday, February 24, during the “I Am an Actor” segment.

Elba explained that even though he was “very late and wasn’t even invited” he used his “English charm” to convince a security guard and receptionist that he had an appointment — and was successful. (The 1993 film starred De Niro, 80, and Chazz Palminteri, marking De Niro’s directorial debut.)

“Now the woman sent me up into the elevator — do you remember when the elevators had a little key and you went in and went up?” he said, adding that he “psyched” himself in the elevator and did his impression of De Niro.

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He continued, “And that’s when I ended up in A Bronx Tale. No, I’m lying now. I wasn’t in A Bronx Tale. I got kicked out of the office by Robert De Niro’s producing partner at the time. A gesture that I took to mean, ‘Kid, you’re going to go places.’ I’m Idris Elba, and I’m an actor.”

The “I Am an Actor” segment began at the first SAG Awards in 1995, and has since featured several stars during the annual awards ceremony. Along with Elba, this year’s celebrities included Michael Cera, Colman Domingo and Hannah Waddingham.

For her segment, Waddingham, 49, recalled playing the Lady of the Lake in the West End production of Monty Python’s Spamalot.

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“I had a 47 second quick change under the stage to come back up through the floor, holding the Holy Grail — as you do — getting ready to sing into the face of the legendary and very fabulous Jim Carrey,” she said on Saturday.

The Ted Lasso star explained she felt “this kind of muscle spasm” at the top of her dress, but when she stretched out her arm the movement stopped, so she “didn’t think any more of it.”

“Following night, this is after a matinee and evening show, I went to take off my costume, but I noticed all day there was a rather embarrassing acrid stench around me,” she said. “I went to air the dress, and a mouse flew out of the dress, smacked against the wall and landed on the floor. So that’s one show with a live mouse in my dress, and two shows with it dead. Oh, the glamour!”

By Michael

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