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The two actors have teamed up for Netflix’s new coming-of-age drama Concrete Cowboy, now streaming

By Alexia Fernández
April 08, 2021 11:30 AM
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idris elba caleb mclaughlin
Idris Elba; Caleb McLaughlin
| Credit: getty images (2)

Caleb McLaughlin doesn't have to look very far to find his Hollywood role model.

The Stranger Things star is flexing his acting chops in the new Netflix film, Concrete Cowboy, in which McLaughlin, 19, stars opposite one of his idols: Idris Elba.

"I want to be like Idris in those superhero films," McLaughlin tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "I would love to show off—and show off my body— because I'm trying to be like Idris when I get older."

"Being able to share the screen with him—it's an honor," he adds. 

For more about Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

concrete cowboy
Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin in Concrete Cowboys
| Credit: fletcher street, llc/netflix

Elba, 48, was equally as impressed by McLaughlin, who plays his son Cole in the film. Concrete Cowboy follows an estranged father and son who are brought together when they must protect their community of Black cowboys.

"I'm a fan [of Caleb], 100 percent," Elba says. "He speaks highly of me, but I speak highly of him. I think people are going to be so surprised to see him in this role. It really shows his range."

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The film, directed by Ricky Staub, is inspired by Philadelphia's real Fletcher Street cowboys and also stars Jharrel Jerome, Clifford "Method Man" Smith and Lorraine Toussaint.

The movie is based on the book Ghetto Cowboy by Gregory Neri and includes real Fletcher Street cowboys Ivannah Mercedes, who plays McLaughlin's love interest Esha, and Jamil "Mil" Prattis, who plays Paris, a mentor to McLaughlin's character.

Concrete Cowboys is now streaming on Netflix.