Idris Elba: Workaholic in Therapy for Unhealthy Habits

Actor Elba navigates personal revelations amid a prolific career

by Nouman Rasool
Idris Elba: Workaholic in Therapy for Unhealthy Habits
© Kate Green/GettyImages

Idris Elba, the esteemed 51-year-old actor renowned for his roles in "Luther" and "The Wire," candidly opened up about his mental wellness journey and the intricacies of his personal and professional life during an appearance on the “Changes with Annie Macmanus” podcast on October 2.

Elba shared insights into his therapy experiences, revealing his pursuit to alter certain neuropaths and addressing his “unhealthy habits” that have been paradoxically nurtured in an industry that rewards them.

While delving into his therapeutic revelations, Elba commented, “It’s not because I don’t like myself... it’s just I have some unhealthy habits that have just really formed”. He specified that the unhealthy habits he was referencing pertain to being “selfish” and an “absolute workaholic”.

The actor articulated a dichotomy, noting, “Nothing that’s too extreme is good. Everything needs balance. But I’m rewarded massively to be a workaholic..”.

Elba Confesses Work-Life Struggles

In an industry that often applauds relentless dedication, Elba candidly laid bare the personal toll such a work ethic takes, explaining his routine of forgoing family time for months to immerse himself in his work and “grinding”.

Despite recognizing the need for balance, he confessed, “the things that make me relaxed end up being work”. Within the sanctity of his home studio, the actor finds a strange solace in his work, a place where he feels exhilarated and at ease, even more so than while spending leisure time with family.

Reflecting on his personal life, Elba, who has been transparent about his love story with Sabrina Elba (née Dhowre), with whom he tied the knot in a splendid ceremony in Morocco in 2019, spoke of their encounter at a Vancouver party as “love at first sight”.

His familial narratives also peeked through, including mentions of his daughter, Isan Elba, 21, with ex-wife Hanne “Kim” Norgaard, and son Winston, 9, with ex-girlfriend Naiyana Garth. Navigating through the waves of his prior relationships, including his short-lived marriage to Sonya Nicole Hamlin in 2006, Elba highlighted his continuous journey towards balance, not only in his career but his emotional and relational realms as well.

His revelations cast light on the often-overlooked vulnerabilities and struggles of those in the limelight, navigating personal tribulations while submerged in an industry that paradoxically rewards the unsustainable. His candid disclosure opens a conversation about mental health, work-life equilibrium, and the personal lives of celebrities, providing a nuanced perspective often obscured by the glare of stardom.