Idris Elba almost passed out when he got asked to perform at Coachella in April alongside artists such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande.

By Mia McNiece
March 14, 2019 10:00 AM
Advertisement

In his new Netflix series, Turn Up Charlie, Idris Elba plays a struggling deejay who becomes a nanny to his famous best friend’s tween daughter. For the role, the British star, 46, tells PEOPLE he drew from his own experiences.

The proud father to son Winston, 4, and daughter Isan, 17, says when creating the show a lot of the writing process was, “me telling stories about me and my kids running around town and Daddy being a deejay.”

“I get to try something new, which is being funny—not too far-fetched but something that’s closer to my truth,” he adds.

Credit: Ollie Millington/Redferns

For more on Idris Elba, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Playing a deejay is also something close to Elba’s heart and he remembers falling in love with music at age 4. “I was mesmerized by the turntable going around and around,” he says.

PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive says he was floored when get got the call to spin at Coachella, one of the world’s biggest music festivals, in April, alongside artists such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande.

“I’ve worked my whole life to play at Coachella. I made it at 46!” he says with a laugh, adding, “I nearly passed out when I found out.”

Credit: David Burton

But the Luther star has plenty of deejay experience under his belt. He began spinning records as a teenager and never stopped, working his way up to clubs from Los Angeles to Ibiza. Last year Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked him to deejay their wedding reception.

“They were great, and we had an amazing time,” he says. “It was just an honor to be able to be part of that celebration.”