Idris Elba says coronavirus had a ‘traumatic’ impact on him mentally

Idris Elba has opened up about his battle with coronavirus earlier this year, saying the experience had a ‘traumatic’ experience on him mentally.

The Cats star and his wife Sabrina Dhowre became two of the first public figures to say they’d caught the virus back in March.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Idris, 47, said: ‘I was asymptomatic so I didn’t get the major symptoms everyone else got. […] Mentally, it hit me very bad, because a lot was unknown about it.’

He added: ‘I felt very compelled to speak about it, just because it was such an unknown. So the mental impact of that on both myself and my wife was pretty traumatic. I needed the lockdown to try to get over it.’


Other famous faces who have publicly discussed catching the virus include Philadelphia actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, pop star Pink and TV host Andy Cohen.

In his interview , Idris – whose other movies include The Mountain Between Us and Thor – also addressed recent news of TV shows being removed from streaming services because of racist themes.

‘To mock the truth, you have to know the truth,’ he said. ‘But to censor racist themes within a show, to pull it… I think viewers should know that people made shows like this.’

Idris – who is to star in an upcoming Luther film – added: ‘Commissioners and archive-holders pulling things they think are exceptionally tone-deaf at this time – fair enough and good for you.

‘But I think, moving forward, people should know that freedom of speech is accepted, but the audience should know what they’re getting into.’

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