The British actor was unveiled as the latest to receive the annual honor on The Tonight Show Monday night.
The star said he was stunned when the magazine notified him that he was the 2018 recipient of the “ego boost”.
“I was like, ‘Come on, no way. Really?’” Elba said.
“Looked in the mirror, I checked myself out. I was like, ‘Yeah, you are kind of sexy today.’ But to be honest, it was just a nice feeling. It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure.”
Elba called it “amazing” and thanked People. “My mom is going to be really, really proud,” he said.
One of Britain’s best-known stars, Elba won a Golden Globe for his lead role in BBC television detective series ‘Luther’, played a Norse god in ‘Thor’ and appeared in US television series ‘The Wire’.
Elba is the third man of color to be honored with the title, as Denzel Washington and Dwayne Johnson have also been named Sexiest Man Alive in the past.
Fans have been campaigning for Elba, son of African immigrants to Britain, to take over from Daniel Craig as secret agent James Bond in the lucrative movie franchise.