Famed actor Idris Elba has definitely had a lot on his plate lately. With two films in post-production, one currently filming, and another two in pre-production, it’s safe to say he’s a busy man. However, there’s yet another film in particular that has caught a vast amount of media attention – “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Elba stars in the Justin Chadwick-directed film as none other than Nelson Mandela, himself. The biopic, which is based on the 1994 autobiography of Mandela, chronicles the South African politician’s life.
The film starts with Mandela’s humble beginnings in a rural African village to his most memorable moments of triumph, being elected as the first official president of South Africa. While preparing for the initial screening of the film in Johannesburg, Elba was slowed down by a health scare, due to complications of asthma. The “Prometheus” actor suffered a severe asthma attack, while in route to South Africa. Due to the severity of the attack, he was taken off the plan and rushed to the hospital. He ended up missing the Johannesburg press conference as a result of his hospitalization. However, the minor setback didn’t stop him.
In fact, according to the Guardian, Elba ended up catching another plane out of Heathrow International Airport, arriving ‘just in time’ for the premiere. The British actor was lauded for his performance, receiving Mandela’s approval and high regards from many of his close family members who also attended the private screening. But the pre-screening praises won’t stop here.
While the Johannesburg screening was first priority on the screening list, it’s definitely not the only one, as there will be two others in the coming weeks. In addition to the pre-screening in South Africa, the film will also be shown at another prestigious location – the White House. The film’s distributor, the Weinstein Company, stated that President Obama will screen the film on Thursday. Mandela’s two daughters, Zindi and Zenani, and Elba, along with his co-star Naomie Harris, will all be in attendance for the prestigious event. Former president, Bill Clinton, will also host a screening for the film, Nov. 20 at the Kennedy Center.
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is tentatively scheduled for international release on Nov. 29, 2013.