Idris Elba has revealed that he has been in therapy to help work through “unhealthy habits” he has developed from working in the entertainment industry.
On the last episode of the Changes With Annie Macmanus podcast, the Hijack actor said he began going to therapy about a year ago because he realized he’s an “absolute workaholic” which “isn’t great for life generally.”
“In my therapy, I’ve been thinking a lot about changing, almost to the point of neuropaths being changed and shifting,” he explained. “And It’s not because I don’t like myself or anything like that, it’s just that I have some unhealthy habits that I’ve just really formed and they, you know, I work in an industry that I’m rewarded for those unhealthy habits.”
The Luther star continued, “Nothing that’s too extreme is good. Everything needs balance. But I’m rewarded massively to be a workaholic, to someone that can go, ‘Oh, I’m not going see my family for six months.’ I’m in there, grinding and making new family and then leave them. You know, those are pathways that I had to be like, I’ve got to adjust.”
Elba said he is working to adopt activities that allow him to relax, while still feeling productive. But he noted that it’s challenging balance because “the things that make me relaxed end up being work.”
When he’s not acting, he’s focused on his music career as a DJ, and though he loves being in his home studio, it still ends up being work.
“I’ll open that laptop and be like, ‘I don’t know what to make today,’ and today it will come out like this and one like, and I’m exhilarated by that but I’m also relaxed by it,” he said of his working habits. “I could have worked 10 days on a film, underwater sequences, holding my breath for six minutes, and come back and sit here [in the studio] and [be relaxed], more so than sitting on the sofa watching TV with the family, which is bad, right? And this is the part where I’ve got to sort of normalize, what makes me relaxed. Can’t be all work.”
But Elba’s career shows no signs of slowing down, with several projects in the works, including Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Heads of State.