As you know, Idris plays the former South African president in the movie Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom, which is in theaters now. The actor took to Twitter to express his emotions after hearing the news of his idol’s death:
I’m stunned, crushed, in mourning with you and his family, I feel only honoured to have portrayed him. He’s in a better place now. RIP NM.
— Idris Elba (@idriselba) December 6, 2013
Back in July, we spoke with Idris about his portrayal of Nelson Mandela, and while he didn’t want to speak on the leader’s failing health, he did tell us how much he enjoyed working on the film.
On Nailing Nelson Mandela’s Accent:
“Approaching every accent is always the same, you know? I learn to do my homework. With Mandela it’s slightly different, because everyone knows how he sounds and what he sounds like. So there was definitely some more detailed work to do on that. I had an interesting time working on the film. I thought it was a great script, and a great piece of material to be a part of.”
On Being Picked By The Mandela Foundation To Play Him, And Not Having Any Worries:
“The pressure in the film, in the story, or in the Mandela Foundation, and his family, they all approved the script prior to even being made. They also approved the actors playing him, so that was the win for me. To even be approved at that point, because to be honest, it could’ve been ten people playing Mandela. It wouldn’t make a difference because it’s Mr. Mandela, you know? How are you going to interpret God? I’m going to get flack about what I look like, what I sound like, but if anyone’s doing that, then they’re not really watching the film.”
Nelson Mandela touched the lives of many people, and we applaud Idris for honoring his memory.
PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter/IdrisElba