Nelson Mandela lived a life that could fill many books and even more films. He has been portrayed several times on screen by prominent actors such as Morgan Freeman (“Invictus”), Terrence Howard (“Winnie”) and most recently by Idris Elba in “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” based on his biography.
When news of his death became public, both of the men who embodied the late Anti-Apartheid champion in movies issued statements offering their condolences:
“What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”
“Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve — a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind.
The new film debuted in limited release on Nov. 27 and was produced by The Weinstein Company. According to producer Anant Singh, Mandela saw a scene from the movie before his death, and was delighted with Elba’s portrayal.
“He saw Idris Elba as the old Mandela in the Mandela prosthetics and he says, ‘Is that me?'” Singh recalled to Variety. “And it was very cute and he smiled and laughed, so it was very good.”
Sadly, Mandela’s two youngest daughters Zindzi and Zenani, were attending the London Royal Premiere of the new film about their father Thursday when they received word that he had died. According to the Associated Press, Mandela’s daughters requested that the film continue. Producer Anant Singh announced the death to the audience, which included Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, after it ended. Singh asked the audience for a moment of silence in the South African leader’s honor.
Watch the trailer to “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” below:
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