Idris Elba Makes History as First Male ‘Maxim’ Cover

Idris Elba Makes History as First Male ‘Maxim’ Cover

Actor Idris Elba graces the cover of Maxim’s September issue, the first solo-male cover in the history of the men’s publication.


Wearing a dark coat alongside the caption, “Man Up,” Elba’s cover differs significantly from Maxim’s usual covers, which usually features scantily clad women.

“We’ve never in U.S. Maxim history had a man on the cover solo,” new editor-in-chief Kate Lanphear told Racked. “This is the very first time, and there was no one else in the world more badass than Idris.”

Elba is the perfect embodiment of what Lanphear wanted a man on the cover to be: “He’s multi-dimensional, he’s complex, he’s sophisticated, but he’s down to earth. It was funny when on set, I was like, ‘Is there anything this guy can’t do?’ He’s an award-winning actor, he’s a DJ, his capsule clothing line for Superdry is about to hit stores. The guy broke the [British] land speed record, which hasn’t been touched since like 1928. He’s sort of a living, breathing superhero.”

In the interview for the magazine, the actor debunked casting rumors that had been circling about him potentially being the next James Bond.

“If I were the Bond producers and everyone was pointing me toward one actor, what’s the surprise in that? Honestly, it’s one of those things that if it should happen, it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy; it would be the will of a nation,” he said.

“I just don’t want to be called the first black James Bond. Do you understand what I’m saying?” he continued. “Sean Connery wasn’t the Scottish James Bond and Daniel Craig wasn’t the blue-eyed James Bond. So if I played him, I don’t want to be called the black James Bond.”

Elba won a Golden Globe in 2012 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television for BBC series “Luther.” The actor is perhaps best known in the U.S. for muscular roles in films “Thor,” “Thor: The Dark World” and “Pacific Rim” and for his role as Russell “Stringer” Bell in HBO crime series “The Wire.”

Elba will appear as a villain alongside Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto in 2016’s “Star Trek Beyond.”

The historic issue of Maxim hits newsstands on Wednesday.

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