Idris Elba was determined to be an actor after working in a car factory.

The 'Pacific Rim' star has revealed that the monotonous routine of working in a motoring assembly job gave him the push he needed to leave behind his home in north London and move to New York City in pursuit of his passion.

Recalling his decision to make a career out of acting, he said: ''It happened at a time when I wasn't making any money from it. I was doing a night shift at the Ford factory in Dagenham with my dad and I knew that if I stayed there, I'd be a lifer. I took the moment to say, 'Stop. Go for it.'

''The next morning, I took a flight to New York. I didn't get a job. I tried to get into the Lee Strasberg school but there was all sorts of red tape. But it gave me the energy to come back and do it. When I got back to London, the first thing I did was get a play.''

While his career began to take off in his native England, the 40-year-old actor knew he hit the big time after landing a role in US TV drama 'The Wire' in 2002, which was produced by prestigious US channel HBO.

He told Time Out: ''It was a massive achievement at that time. Here I was in America, on a HBO show! I was like, 'F**k off!' I didn't have a massive part in the first series but I was living my dream. It came after a long stint of unemployment, at a point when I really wanted to do it. I threw my heart into it.''