Roundup: British Crime TV ‘More Violent’ Says ‘Luther’ Star Idris Elba

 Idris Elba had his hand in television crime dramas for years now, having portrayed Russell "Stringer" Bell in HBO's The Wire, and now the current star and executive producer of the BBC America suspense thriller, Luther. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal blog, Speakeasy, the handsome British actor discusses his acting start, touching upon his role as conflicted cop John Luther, who he calls a "very contradictory character." He also chats about the vast differences between British and American crime shows.

"I think we're a lot more violent and visceral in the way we depict crime," Elba says. "I think our protagonists are very unconventional in a lot of ways and we tend to have antagonists who look like they wouldn't hurt a fly. It's something we're drawn to. In America, it's a little more stereotypical. A big mean guy looks like a big mean guy and a drug dealer is usually black. I think in British TV, in crime dramas especially, it’s a lot more psychological."

Do you agree or disagree with Idris Elba's opinion on British crime television being more violent than American television?

In other news:

Colin Firth sat down with The BBC to discuss the Oscar hysteria surrounding his upcoming film, The King's Speech, which premieres tonight (October 21) at the London Film Festival. But the film account of King George VI's challenge with a stammer almost didn't see the light of day due to some concern of the Royal Family, Firth explains.

"The writer wanted to write this, I think, about 30 years ago," he says. "He wrote to the Queen Mother and said, 'Do you mind if I do this?' And she wrote back and said, 'Not in my lifetime. These events are still too painful.' So with that, as being said so long after the event you can imagine, I think, how much pain it caused."

– It seems that the young lads in Kings of Leon are a bit intimidated by Susan Boyle. The rollicking alt-rock foursome fear that the international superstar might just sell more albums than them, with frontman Caleb Followill calling the beloved singer "a force of nature." Their fifth studio effort, Come Around Sundown dropped in the UK and the US this week, while Boyle's The Gift arrives the second week of November. (The Sun)

Jeremy Thomas has established himself among the film world's most renowned figureheads, having produced such critically-acclaimed flicks such as The Last Emperor and Sexy Beast. But the British filmmaker has a some choice words for inspiring Americans looking to follow in his footsteps:

"Get a Canadian or a European passport," he tells Deadline. "My advice to American filmmakers is to marry a European. I'm not kidding. Otherwise they don’t qualify for international co-production treaties." Yikes, man!

– Theater patrons overseas are anxiously awaiting the possible West End return of Keira Knightley. Anglophenia previously mentioned that the Academy Award-nominee might take part in a new Christopher Hampton play, but now there are new rumors that the British actress may join the revival of The Children's Hour. The Lillian Hellman-penned script follows two female educators in an all-girls boarding school fighting off gossip about their supposed romantic involvement. It made its Broadway debut in fall 1934 and ran for 691 performances. (Broadway.com)

Tinie Tempah and JLS ruled the MOBO Awards in Liverpool on Wednesday (October 20), each taking home two awards. Eminem was named the Best International Act. And, X Factor reject Gamu Nhengu did make a special appearance, looking quite refreshed. (BBC).

– RIP Graham Crowden. The 87-year-old actor died in his native Edinburgh on Wednesday (October 20). He is best known for his BBC roles on A Very Peculiar Practice and Waiting for God. He also portrayed the evil Soldeed on Doctor Who during the 1979-1980 season and appeared in the 2003 Nigel Cole-directed comedy, Calendar Girls, with Helen Mirren. (What's On TV)

by MacKenzie Wilson