Idris Elba Explains How He 'Scammed' His Way Into Robert De Niro's Office As A Teen

Elba's confession came during the SAG Awards' traditional "I Am an Actor" opening.

Idris Elba’s charisma couldn’t save him from getting kicked out of Robert De Niro’s office during his early days in the acting business.

At Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, the English actor told his fellow thespians how he crashed an audition for “A Bronx Tale” in the early ’90s, only to get booted by De Niro’s right-hand man.

“When I was just starting out in this business, I was 19 years old,” Elba recalled during the awards traditional “I Am an Actor” opening segment.

“I scammed my way up to Robert De Niro’s office in Tribeca [where] auditions were taking place for ‘A Bronx Tale,’” he continued. “And they started that week even though I was very late and wasn’t even invited.”

Nevertheless, the “Luther” star said he used his “English charm to convince the security guard and the receptionist that I had an appointment.”

Elba made it to the elevator, where he remembered psyching himself up with his best De Niro impression.

“I was like, ‘What are you going to do, when you in there what are you gonna do? Idris, come here,’” he said, using his best New York drawl.

“And that’s when I ended up in ‘A Bronx Tale,’” he went on. “No, I’m lying now. I wasn’t in ‘A Bronx Tale.’ I got kicked out of the office by Robert De Niro’s producing partner at the time, a gesture that I took to mean, kid, you’re going to go places.”

Concluding the segment, he proudly declared, “I’m Idris Elba, and I’m an actor.”

This year’s “I Am an Actor” opener also included bits from “Barbie’s” Michael Cera, “Rustin” lead Colman Domingo and “Ted Lasso’s” Hannah Waddingham.

Catch all the best moments from the 2024 SAG Awards on our live blog.

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