He's an actor, a pro kickboxer, a deejay, a rapper and a clothing designer – so it's no surprise this year's Sexiest Man Alive, Idris Elba, likes to have a little fun.

Growing up in East London as an only child to African immigrants, Elba, 46, "What a good kid but my parents were quite strict," says PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "When I was like 14, as soon as I grew a mustache, I was out of there."

Attending an all-boys school what a bit of a "culture shock," the actor insists. Elba, who played sports like football, soccer and cricket. "I was a C or B student. I could not sit in a classroom for long periods of time. I'd get bored. "

For more from this year's Sexiest Man Alive – pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday

Once he found fame, Elba learned the importance of being authentic. "When I meet someone, I can sort of read which they want to see – if they want to see that guy on TV," he says. "And sometimes that's not you in real life."

RELATED: Idris Elba's Fiancée Gushes About Her Soon-to-Be Husband Ahead of Valentine's Day

But he does admit to having a "naughty" side. "I told you my parents were strict, so there's a rebellious side to me," he says, laughing. "I have a bit of an issue with authority sometimes. I'm the guy that if it says 'Do not push the button,' I'm gonna push it. I think I'm curious. Not in a risky way just like that, what would happen if? "

Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Sexiest Man Alive – TBA streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

His current go-to vice? "Whiskey might be a vice. It's a slippery slope because it's a very pungent alcohol, "says Elba. "When it comes to food, I could eat meat. A lot. Like steak. "

Idris Elba is PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2018

Idris Elba is PEOPLE's Sexiest Man Alive 2018

David Burton

The actor has 10 tattoos and could easily see himself getting more in the future. "I love my tats," he adds. "They're moments in my life. Sierra Leonean and Ghanaian. I helped my kids' names and symbols of my culture. It's not meant to be cryptic, it's just an idea that you can carry negativity or drop it off at the station and keep going. "

For even more on People's Sexiest Man Alive, click here and be sure to pick up the issue, on stands Friday. And nab your own official Sexiest Man Alive shirt from our brand new Amazon store.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.