Elba: 'I'm Better Than Snipes'

The Wire actor IDRIS ELBA believes his criminal portrayal in the hit US TV drama is superior to that of WESLEY SNIPES' drug dealing character in New Jack City, because it isn't too "over the top". Elba, 34, plays gangster Russell 'Stringer' Bell in The Wire, and insists his character is more "convincing" at portraying an American drug lord than Snipes did as Nino Brown in the 1991 movie. And he has no regrets about taking on the small screen role, even though it has meant turning down more profitable roles in the meantime. He says, "It's hard to turn down parts, which I have had to do a lot. I've said no to a lot of money in the process but I really don't want to go backwards in my career. "Russell 'Stringer' Bell was a one-off. Not to brag, but he has been the best depiction of a high-level black gangster I know of. "No disrespect to Wesley Snipes but Nino Brown was too over the top. Our writers created a character that was real, multi-layered and convincing."


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