The British Actor has recently won two SAG awards in January for performances in both film (Beasts of No Nation) and television (Luther), and sparking the #OscarsSoWhite protests when he failed to earn an Academy Award nomination. And rumours that he may be the next James Bond simply won't die.

The Brit stars in the new Disney animation

So it's no surprise that he took a change of pace to voice a character in the animated comedy Zootropia. "I'm just getting older and uglier," he laughs, "so I need to use my voice instead of my face!" 

In Zootropia, he plays a cape buffalo police chief named Bogo. "I love putting on silly voices," he says. "And with Bogo I didn't have to put on a silly voice, but I really did have to give him some depth."

Elba got his start on British TV series like The Bill and Crimewatch before moving to New York and living in his car for three months while he looked for a job. His break came with The Wire in 2002, and he's never looked back, working on a wide range of films from Thor and Prometheus to the title role in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, plus TV projects like The Big C and The Office. He also writes, directs, DJs, raps and recently broke a land-speed driving record.

"As an actor, all day long I'm reading someone else's thoughts," he explains. "What about my own thoughts? That comes out in various guises - writing, directing, music. I don't try to get too comfortable in any of it. If I did, I'd probably stay still."

Up next for him are two more animated projects for Disney: he plays Shere Khan in the forthcoming Jungle Book movie and also has a role in the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory. He'll also be the villain in Star Trek Beyond and has just been announced in the lead role as the Gunslinger opposite Matthew McConaughey in a film adaptation of Stephen King's epic The Dark Tower.

"A lot of people come from nowhere," he says. "To me that's really important. I'm not about the celebrity aspect. For me what's interesting is that moment where somebody like me, who doesn't have anything, can see Michael Jackson, Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes and go, 'I want to be like that!' And what is that moment where you know you can get there?"

Watch the trailer for Zootopia here: