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Idris Elba reveals that he sold weed to Dave Chappelle before getting famous on 'The Wire'

·Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
·1-min read
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Before aiding Avon Barksdale in running Baltimore's biggest drug ring on the late, great HBO drama, The Wire, Idris Elba had his own small-time pot business. During an appearance on Sirius XM's The Jess Cagle Show, the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 star briefly touched on his dealing days and revealed the name of his most famous client: comedian and prodigious stoner, Dave Chappelle.

As Elba explains to Cagle and co-host, Julia Cunningham, selling pot was just one of the many side hustles he had going on as a young actor trying to make it in Hollywood. "I did that for a little bit just to help pay the way," the actor says. "I DJed quite a bit ... [and] I was a doorman at Caroline's Comedy Club."

The London-born Elba recalls making an immediate impression on the Caroline's clientele — particularly Chappelle — because of his appearance and accent. "I meet the comedians [now] that kind of remember the English guy," he says. "Tall English guy with the funny accent and the little hair. David Chappelle remembers me cause he used to buy weed from me! Anyway, moving on."

With The Wire celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer, Elba reflected on what that show meant to him personally and professionally. "Season 1 was sort of like a sleeper hit," he remembers. "People were like, 'Have you seen this show? It's kind of interesting.' Especially in the African American community, 'cause it was, you know, that first season was centered around the Barksdales in Baltimore ... By Season 3, it was up there with The Sopranos as a show that everyone was watching ... People continue to discover it to this day."

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 premieres April 8 in theaters

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