London-born star Idris Elba explained why he has stopped describing himself as a black actor.
The 50-year-old who has starred in a host of big-budget films and TV shows during his career, has revealed that he's reluctant to be put "in a box", reports femalefirst.co.uk.
The London-born star explained: "As humans, we are obsessed with race. And that obsession can really hinder people's aspirations, hinder people's growth. Racism should be a topic for discussion, sure.
"Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it's only as powerful as you allow it to be. I stopped describing myself as a black actor when I realised it put me in a box. We've got to grow. We've got to. Our skin is no more than that: it's just skin. Rant over."
He went to school in Canning Town in east London, and the acclaimed actor admits he never really felt at home there.
He told Esquire UK magazine: "I didn't like Canning Town, didn't like it at all. I was like, 'When can we go home to Hackney? Go Ridley Road Market'. It was a right-wing, white, working-class community.
"There weren't that many black people, weren't that many Asians. In my school there was a lot of black and brown, but the neighbourhood, not so much."
Idris said that he's "the same black" regardless of where he is in the world. "I'm always curious why this is fascinating to people. It's a question I get asked a lot. I don't go to my black friends, in conversation, and ask them to tell me about racism. Have I ever faced racism? Yeah.
"I'm not any more black because I'm in a white area, or more black because I'm in a black area. I'm black. And that skin stays with me no matter where I go, every day, through black areas with white people in it, or white areas with black people in it. I'm the same black," the actor added