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Idris Elba praises small films for tackling powerful subjects

Idris Elba uses music to help him balance out his life as an actor.

Idris Elba prefers to work on films that "educate" audiences rather than Hollywood blockbusters.

The British actor is no stranger to action-packed parts, appearing in the Thor movies, Pacific Rim and Star Trek Beyond, among others. But Idris, 44, admits that he finds the most satisfaction when he's working on smaller, more meaningful projects.

"Because we can deal with more specific subjects. Filmmaking is a great way to educate, but you can only educate so much from a big blockbuster," he told Esquire.com. "When you can deal with films that look at the human condition in a specific way it can be very useful and very entertaining. And I think that we need to keep that engine going and feed those stories and feed those thoughts with smaller performances."

He praises features like Moonlight for tackling interesting subject matters and hopes more directors will follow suit. The coming-of-age drama, starring Naomie Harris, focuses on a young black man's journey from childhood to adulthood while growing up in a rough neighbourhood in Miami.

In addition to acting and producing, which he's recently taken on for his film 100 Streets and TV series Guerrilla, Idris is also pursuing his love of music.

"The truth is you need something else to balance out when you're an actor," he noted. "When you delve into characters deeply it can be a little bit mind boggling. I play very extreme characters and you can only do so much of that without going nuts. I tend to use my music and other things to alleviate that and to counterbalance that."

And it appears music is to be more of a focus for the star, as his new album, titled Hiatus, is on its way.

He describes it as an "apt" title as he hopes to take some time out from acting and filmmaking to pursue his passion for beats and house music.

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