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.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'