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Idris Elba says he’s a ‘workaholic’ and is in therapy to tackle ‘unhealthy habits’

Idris Elba attending the Academy Awards in 2023.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Idris Elba attending the Academy Awards in 2023.

By Issy Ronald, CNN

(CNN) — British actor Idris Elba has said that he’s an “absolute workaholic” and is in therapy to tackle “unhealthy habits.”

Speaking to the “Changes with Annie Macmanus” podcast in an episode released Monday, Elba said he’s been in therapy for about a year.

“In my therapy I’ve been thinking a lot about changing,” he said. “It’s not because I don’t like myself or anything like that. It’s just that I have some unhealthy habits that have just really formed.”

“I work in an industry that I am rewarded for those unhealthy habits,” Elba added: “I’m a workaholic. I’m an absolute workaholic. And that isn’t great for life, generally. Nothing that’s too extreme is good. Everything needs balance.”

The Emmy-nominated actor acknowledged that the nature of his work rewards “someone that can go, ‘I’m not going to see my family for six months.’ And I’m in there grinding and making a new family and then leave them.”

He spoke of having to “adjust” those pathways, though he joked there was no chance of him working less.

“The things that make me relaxed end up being work,” he said, giving the example that working in his home studio after spending 10 days on a film set makes him more relaxed than “sitting on the sofa watching TV with the family, which is bad right?”

Best known for his portrayals of Stringer Bell in the HBO series “The Wire,” as well as the titular character in the BBC crime series “Luther,” Elba balances his acting with a DJ career and has performed at Glastonbury Festival and Coachella.

He also has a career on the other side of the camera, directing his first feature film “Yardie” and creating the TV show “In the Long Run” in 2018.

Researchers from the University in Bergen in Norway found in 2016 that 7.8% of people could be classified as workaholics, meaning people were spending more time at work than intended and deprioritizing hobbies and exercise because of work.

On the same podcast, Elba spoke about how becoming a father to his three children “grounded [him] massively” and the self-reflection that it has prompted.

“I learned a lot about Idris [while] trying to be a dad. I learn a lot. I always put myself in my kids’ eyes and wonder what they see.”

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Article Topic Follows: Entertainment

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