Idris Elba misses the ''anonymity'' he used to have before he became an actor.

The 44-year-old actress embarked on a career in the entertainment industry in 1995, and he has admitted for the past two decades he has longed to be unrecognisable by members of the public because he receives ''a lot of attention'' from his fans.

The British heartthrob told TimeOut magazine: ''I do get a lot of attention.

''I miss the anonymity a little bit.''

And the 'Luther' star has revealed living in a big city helps him to ''blend in''.

He continued: ''That's one of the reasons why you live in a big city, so you can blend in.''

But Idris does not ''resent'' being a familiar face in the crowd.

He added: ''But I don't resent it. If I didn't want to be recognised I would've been a chess player.''

And the star believes he is in the wrong profession if he disliked the attention.

He said: ''I'm pretty cerebral. But what I mean is, I'm in the wrong profession to complain about being recognised. But people have goodwill. It's like: 'Idris, all right, mate?' They feel like they know you.''

However, the 'Star Trek Beyond' hunk, who was awarded an OBE last year for his services to acting business, has revealed being greeted by Queen Elizabeth II was the most ''gratifying'' recognition he has ever received.

Idris, who recently received the Rear of the Year Award, explained: ''I think being recognised by my Queen and country as an actor who has made a significant contribution to our industry is slightly more gratifying than someone saying I've got a nice pair of buttocks.''

Meanwhile, Idris has revealed his personality has drastically changed since he was a child as he used to be a lot more introverted.

Speaking about his younger self, he said: ''I was pretty low key. Really shy. I was definitely not the personality in the room that everyone flocked to. I just kept my head down.''