Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom reveals 'good and bad' sides of South African leader - Idris Elba
The Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this weekend, shows “the good and the bad” aspects to the South African freedom fighter’s character, according to the actor who plays him.
The Wire actor Idris Elba said during the festival that while he “didn’t want to deface Mr Mandela in any way” he “didn’t want to portray him in a way that wasn’t honest. It was important that we had both sides, the good and the bad.”
The film, directed in which Elba stars as the South African leader, shows Mandela as a terrific womaniser who is violent towards his first wife.
Elba, who doesn't bear a close resemblance to Mandela, plays him through to old age, with the help of make-up, prosthesis and ageing effects.
"I just plugged into the energy of Mandela and the way people respect him," he said. "There was no messing about with this character and this story."
Director Justin Chadwick told reporters at the festival: "We're not going for a looky-likey, soundy-likey version of Mandela.”
Elba, who is famed for his gangster Stringer Bell on The Wire and as British detective Luther, was described by Chadwick as "the brave choice" for the role.
But the critical response to the film has been mixed. The Independent’s critic Kaleem Aftab awarded it Two Stars in his review, describing it as “as a film with ADHD – just as anything becomes interesting, the action moves on.”
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has been in development for many years, during which several other big screen depictions of Mandela have been released.
Other actors who have taken on the role include Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Terrence Howard (Winnie Mandela), Danny Glover, David Harewood and Sidney Poitier.
Mandela, 95, who was admitted to hospital in Pretoria on 9 June with a recurring lung infection, returned home last week where he continues to receive intensive care.
Due to ill health Mandela, known as Madiba in his home country, was unable to meet Elba or to be involved in the making of the film.
filmIn Black Seahe is as audiences have never seen him before
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police