Idris Elba taking the title of Sexiest Man Alive couldn’t have come soon enough for much of the population, who have been clamoring for him to win for years. And there’s one superfan in particular who will be thrilled with this year’s champ: his Dark Tower costar and 2005 Sexiest Man Alive, Matthew McConaughey, who put in a good word for Elba during a visit to PEOPLE in the summer of 2017.
“There’s one of us here who hasn’t got it yet,” he said, laughing. “And I know he’s been sneaking around your top three for a while. It’s probably time.”
At the time, Elba took McConaughey’s nomination in stride, joking, “I see that the Sexiest Man Alive is drawing to an end…” to which McConaughey clarified, “No, no, I’m still alive. That’s the thing about this crown, you get it until the day you leave this earth. And if you’re a believer you take it into the next life.”
Rewatching the clip during the shoot for his cover, Elba thanks his friend for his early support. “Matthew, you called it,” he says. “I think you knew … Thank you, it’s an honor to be part of the gang.”