Actor Accepts Mandela Responsibility

<img src='$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYtF1bms89KGqcaKvMIHyODt6FB40xiOfUoExWL3M40tfzssyZqpeG_J0TFo7ZhRaDiHC9oxmioMlYVJD0A$3RbIiibgT65kY_CSDiCiUzvHvODrHApbd6ry6YGl5GGOZrs-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg&#039; width='200px' alt='Idris Leb(left) Riaad Moosstar 'Mandela: Long Walk Freedom.’ | AP Photo/The WeinsteCompany Keith Bernstein’ style=’float:left;padding:5px’ />

They looked me in the eye and said, Idris, do you understand the responsibility you have here, pal? That speaks about the culture and how they hold this story close to their hearts. The London native, best known for his TV roles in Luther and The Wire, says the weight of the Mandela role and finding that Mandela magic weighed heavily on him. I wasnt expecting to be accepted as Mandela. But I knew I only had one shot. There is no messing about with this character or this story, says Elba. The movie chronicles Mandelas life from a childhood in a rural village to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Elba says audiences will see the whole man. We wanted to portray Mandela as a human being including parts that were less flattering, he says. Weve seen the saintly Mandela. We take the audience on a journey prior to that to understand who he was and how he became the man who all know. Elba says his time in South Africa was critical to his performance. I stayed there to understand, he says.
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Mandela movie a US hit

Directed by Justin Chadwick, the film was this week in the US in competition with The Wolf of Wall Street, which opened in 2400 theatres. Next up is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty which debuted in 3000 theatres, while sports comedy Grudge Match opened in more than 2750 theatres. Despite the rising popularity of its star, Idris Elba, whose striking impersonation of the late Nelson Mandela earned him a Golden Globe nomination last week, the film has had a hard time cracking the top-five box office charts due to its limited release in only four American theatres.
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