Long before ‘Invictus,’ Mandela named Morgan Freeman as the actor he would most like to play him in a film about his life in 1994 at a press conference.
Once the film was in development, Freeman told Mandela: ‘If I’m going to play you, I’m going to have access to you. I’m going to have to get close enough to hold your hand.’ The two began to meet for dinner whenever they were in the same city.
As an actor playing Mandela, Freeman said he focussed his attention foremost on imitating the former president’s physical attributes.
He said: ‘The danger, of course, is always caricature. So, the biggest challenge I had was to sound like him. Everything else became easy to do- to walk like him, use the same speech pattern, and mirror his physical nuances.’