Not even a brief stay in the hospital can keep Idris Elba away from doing his job.
On Friday, Elba suffered an asthma attack after boarding a flight set for South Africa. He was immediately taken to a hospital in the United Kingdom.
“I’ve battled asthma most of my life and it just overwhelmingly took me down on Friday while I was sitting on a plane. It was a very scary moment for me. A doctor on the plane helped me through it,” said Elba.
Elba was on his way to Johannesburg to do some press for his upcoming film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, before the actual premiere. Elba’s arrival to South Africa was delayed, but not for long.
On Sunday, 41-year-old Elba may not have been his usual self, but he was able to attend the premiere, along with co-star Naomie Harris.
It is reported that Elba was seen wiping his brow from time to time. He was also seen sitting beside Nelson Mandela’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is the first film about Nelson Mandela that has been approved by the Mandela Foundation. In the film, Elba portrays Mandela and Harris portrays Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. The film spans from Mandela’s early life, his education, his 27 years in prison, and his inauguration as president of South Africa.
Elba took the role very seriously, traveling to South Africa to prepare for the role, and even spending a night locked in a cell on Robben Island. The cell was located next to the same one Mandela spent 18 years in. Elba said, “I wanted the audience to know what it was like once Mandela and his colleagues were jailed and the crowds dissipated.” He added, “Every time I did the cell scenes in the film, I thought of that night. It wasn’t pretend for me.”
The movie has seen much praise from many different film festivals, as well as from the Mandela’s themselves.
For those who have been lucky enough to see the film, they have nothing but good things to say about the film, as well as Elba’s and Harris’ performances.
— Trevor Nelson (@DJTrevorNelson) November 4, 2013
— MrHudson (@MrHudson) November 4, 2013
#Mandela despite being bit of a traditional biopic is a powerful and stirring film. Very well designed, written, and acted- by Idris Elba.
— Tim Fywell (@TimFywell) November 4, 2013
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom hits theaters December 18, 2013.