Before Nelson Mandela succumbed to longtime illnesses, Idris Elba prepared to play the anti-apartheid icon in the biography ”Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” by visiting the prison where he spent 18 years of his life. On last night’s episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Oprah chatted with Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan (of “Fruitvale Station”) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (“The Butler”) where Elba revealed what it was like spending the night at Robben Island, the South African. “My first visit I did it as a tourist, as a museum type thing,” Elba said. “And then the second tour, which was more just me and Justin [Chadwick], was awful. Awful — when I started to understand the history of the island, the fact that it was a leprosy colony.”
Elba was intent on spending the night in the same cell where Mandela stayed, but was told “no” numerous times. “I said, ‘I want it exactly as Madiba had it. Whatever facilities he had that night, on his first night.’ And they said, ‘Well, he had this thin foam blanket and this little blanket here, and a bucket for the toilet, and that’s it.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’ll take that.’” After agreeing to stay in a subsequent section of the prison. “I just heard this series of locks,” he recalled. “And I had the most amazing sense of loss. I was like, ‘Wow.’ And it just put it into perspective about what Madiba had gone through.”
During the rest of the episode, we got to know a little more about the rising thespians Michael B. Jordan and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Michael B Jordan: