Idris Elba is a very ''observant'' actor.

The 'Luther' star has made the transition from acting to directing and believes he has picked up a lot of tips from other directors he has worked with in the past.

He told The Sunday Times' Culture magazine: ''It's not patronising. But I hope with my 25 years as an actor, I've learnt a bit from the people I've worked with. I'm very observant. I have worked with Ridley Scott twice, and it doesn't feel like he's giving you a note, rather that he is asking you for an extra contribution.''

Meanwhile, Idris previously confessed he didn't realise how ''difficult'' directing would be but he did have a lot of ''fun'' making a film for the first time.

He said: ''I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to direct this material, with which I can identify quite a bit. The story takes place in London and Jamaica, and it's based on the novel [Victor Headley's 'Yardie'], which was popular urban fiction in the 1980s and 1990s. It's been a lot of fun but the hardest thing I've done. I never realised how difficult it was going to be, but I loved it and getting to spend time in Jamaica was phenomenal.''

And it was Robert De Niro who inspired Idris' acting career.

He said: ''I was inspired by Robert De Niro. I had skipped school one afternoon when I was 16 to go and see 'Once Upon A Time In America'. I was blown away by his performance. The following day, I told my school acting teacher I wanted to be like De Niro. My teacher, who believed in my talent, told me it was important to pursue your dreams, and that one day I would become a great actor. That is what set me on my way.''