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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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