Idris Elba stopped describing himself as 'Black actor' as it put him in a 'box'
The Luther star said, from his perspective, racism is 'only as powerful as you allow it to be'
Watch: Idris Elba reveals he no longer describes himself as a 'Black actor'
Idris Elba has said he no longer describes himself as "a Black actor" because it puts him in a "box".
The actor - who is best known for hit BBC crime series Luther - said he thinks people are "obsessed" with race and that it can "hinder" people's aspirations and growth.
Sharing his thoughts in an interview with Esquire magazine, he said: "Racism is very real. But from my perspective, it’s only as powerful as you allow it to be.
Read more: Luther leaves London in first look images from upcoming movie
"I stopped describing myself as a Black actor when I realised it put me in a box."
Elba, 50, said that we have to "grow".
"Our skin is no more than that: it’s just skin," said the star.
The actor has been playing DCI John Luther since 2010 and he is now gearing up to take the character from the TV to the big screen.
The film version - entitled Luther: The Fallen Sun - has been in the pipeline for some time and just before Christmas Netflix confirmed that it would be unveiled in March.
The actor previously said it was "really dangerous when expanding from television to film to throw a lot of money at it, and for that moment to change the characteristics of the show".
Read more: Luther creator responds to BBC diversity chief claims Idris Elba show 'not Black enough to be real'
He told Empire magazine he wanted to ensure that even though there was a bigger budget they didn't "distort the parameters of Luther-land too much".