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Movies / Celebrities PopWrapped | Movies

Idris Elba Fools Nelson Mandela Himself With Striking Resemblance

PopWrapped | PopWrapped Author


11/04/2013 4:31 pm
PopWrapped | Movies
Idris Elba Fools Nelson Mandela Himself With Striking Resemblance
Media Courtesy of

Kayleigh Falvey

Staff Writer

The producer of the eagerly awaited biopic, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Anant Singh, has revealed that when Nelson Mandela saw clips of the film last year, he asked “Is that me?” when he saw Idris Elba as an elderly version on himself. The producer went on to explain to Mandela that Elba spent five hours in the makeup chair before filming even started in order to make the actor resemble the former South African President. The Luther star plays Mandela in the film and, although he never got to meet with Mandela himself, according to the Guardian he, “spent time in South Africa talking to locals and visiting places key to the story (He even spent a night locked on RobbenIsland).” During a press conference, Elba spoke about how he was cautioned by people in Johannesburg, saying “They sat me down and looked me in the eye and said: ‘Do you understand the responsibility you have here, pal?’ They hold this story dear to their hearts.” He also spoke about how he was originally worried about filming the early scenes in the film, “I didn’t want to deface Mr. Mandela in any way, but I didn’t want to portray him in a way that isn’t honest.” The film’s writer, William Nicholson, agreed with Elba saying, “Leaving aside him beating up his wife or being unfaithful, this is a guy with a profound sadness in him. We wanted very much to show that at the moment of his greatest victory, there was this sense that he’d lost what was central to his personal.” The film opens in South Africa this month after having its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, and its South African premiere last Sunday; though the film’s leading man was almost absent from celebrations. Sky News reports that, “Idris Elba, star of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom suffered an asthma attack after boarding a jet to London’s Heathrow International Airport.” Thankfully Elba arrived at the premiere and told Sky News, “I’ve battled asthma most of my life and it just overwhelmingly took me down on Friday while I was sitting on a plane. It was a very scary moment for me. A doctor on the plane helped me through it. Thankfully I am here.”


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