JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nelson Mandela was amused by the elaborate makeup process a British actor went through to play him in a film based on his autobiography, the movie’s producer said Saturday of a special screening for the former South African president last year.
“Is that me?” Anant Singh, the South African producer of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” recalled a smiling Mandela as saying when he saw a picture of actor Idris Elba as an elderly version of the man who spent 27 years in jail under white minority rule. After he was freed, Mandela led South Africa through a difficult transition to its first racially inclusive elections in 1994, a historic event that propelled him to the presidency and inspired many around the world.
“I said, ‘Madiba, you really think it’s you?'” Singh replied, using Mandela’s clan name. He then explained that Elba sat through more than five hours of makeup before filming even began. Singh had visited Mandela at his home in Qunu, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Mandela, 95, has stayed in a hospital in Pretoria, the capital, several times since December and remains critically ill at his Johannesburg home.
Singh and members of the cast spoke at a news conference in Johannesburg Saturday hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the film, which is based on Mandela’s autobiography and will be released in South Africa in late November before opening in the U.S. and other markets.
Naomie Harris, who starred in the James Bond movie “Skyfall,” plays the role of Winnie Mandela, Mandela’s second wife and a powerful figure in the anti-apartheid movement in her own right. The couple later divorced.
Zindzi Mandela, one of the couple’s children, said she had seen the movie with her mother and that it was an emotional experience. Mandela, she said, is often defined by his prison experiences and his fight against apartheid, but she was pleased to see that the movie also focuses on the traditional values of hierarchy, structure and discipline that shaped him in his early years in the rural Eastern Cape.
“Those values are what made him better able to face challenges ahead of him,” she said.
Zindzi Mandela said she was particularly moved by a film scene in which she and her sister are left alone, with both their parents in detention. She said the sequence evoked “the absence of a father and the absence of a mother and the absence of a normal family life.”
Singh said Winnie, whose last name is now Madikizela-Mandela, turned to him after seeing the movie and said:
“It’s beautiful. Don’t change anything. I love it.”
The $35 million film was directed by Justin Chadwick. It also features actor Tony Kgoroge, who played the role of a presidential security chief in “Invictus,” the 2009 movie directed by Clint Eastwood that starred Morgan Freeman as Mandela in the period leading up to South Africa’s World Cup rugby title in 1995. This time, Kgoroge plays Walter Sisulu, a longtime associate of Mandela.
Elba did not attend the news conference because he was ill. Kgoroge praised Elba’s performance as Mandela, describing him as “very hungry” and “looking forward to going into the depth of his character.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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