Idris Elba Defends 'Ghost Rider 2' Casting, Discusses 'Thor' Work With Kenneth Branagh

Idris ElbaFrom cool and calculated criminal Stringer Bell on "The Wire" to the mythical god Heimdall in "Thor," Idris Elba has certainly done his best to diversify his career. In fact, that's exactly why the actor accepted a role in the forthcoming "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance."

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Elba defended his decision to sign on for the "Ghost Rider" sequel, in which he appears opposite Nicolas Cage as an alcoholic warrior monk.

"I get criticized for taking roles in films like 'Ghost Rider 2,' but if you look at my résumé, dude, I’ve mixed it up as much as I can," laughed the actor. "I love to play different roles. That’s just the kind of actor I am."

Elba has certainly proven his love for different roles, not just in actions, but also in words: in addition to starring in "Thor" and "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," Elba has expressed his desire to take on "Luke Cage" and "Blade." But before he can stake his claim in the vampire-hunting franchise, he might want to have a word or two with Wesley Snipes first.

The actor couldn't say much on the "Ghost Rider" front as he hasn't shot his role yet, but he spoke at length about working with director Kenneth Branagh on "Thor."

"This is a man that’s an amazing actor," said Elba. "Just hearing him giving his take on how to mold me as an actor. This is a man that called me up personally and said, 'I know this isn’t a big role, but I would really love to see you play it.' It’s Kenneth Branagh. I was like, 'Definitely.'"

Do you think Elba made a mistake in signing on for "Ghost Rider 2," or do you support his defense of wanting to play a variety of different roles? Tell us your take in the comments section and on Twitter!