The Los Angeles Premiere Screening of "Sonic the Hedgehog 2"

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Idris Elba’s incredible work ethic has caught up with him.

The British actor was recently on an episode of Annie MacManus’ Changes with Annie Macmanus podcast and revealed that his workaholic lifestyle has led to him attending 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.”

Elba explains that being a member of Hollywood and working hard comes with its privileges, but it puts a damper on trying to balance his personal life alongside it.

“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.”

Elba says that as an actor, someone who can pick up and travel and stay in a place for six months at a time is excellent for career prospects and benefits him as someone who sees work as restful.

“The things that make me relaxed end up being work,” he admits.


He remembers being on a film set for 10 days straight, and once returning home, he immediately went to work in his home studio– don’t forget he’s also got a successful DJing career, having performed at major festivals like Glastonbury and Coachella under the name DJ Big Driis.

Through his problematic work habits, he has amassed an impressive filmography starting with HBO classic The Wire, which he starred in from 2002-04. He’d then appear opposite Denzel Washington in American Gangster and Obsessed alongside Beyonce.

Afterward, amid a nine-year stint in BBC One’s Luther, he starred in Pacific Rim, Beasts of a No Nation, and several films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He also cashed a few Disney checks thanks to voiceovers in Zootopia, Finding Dory, and The Jungle Book. While becoming one the highest-grossing actors in America, he was also named to Time 100’s list of the most influential People in the World.

“Absolute Workaholic” Idris Elba Says He’s Been In Therapy For A Year To Fix Some “Unhealthy Habits”  was originally published on