Idris Elba Makes His Mark in Toronto

Idris Elba stops to chat with Anglophenia at the TIFF. (Screen shot)

Idris Elba stops to chat with Anglophenia at TIFF. (Screen shot)

Luther‘s Idris Elba has made a big impression on Toronto International Film Festival audiences with his portrayal of Nelson Mandela at the world premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Variety’s critic Scott Foundas has written: “Idris Elba gives a towering performance, a Mandela for the ages.”

Elba found taking on the role quite a challenge. He says: “It was hard, and became harder. To perform like Mandela, to embody him, there was a lot of things to understand.”

The picture is based on Mandela’s bestselling 1994 autobiography Long Walk to Freedom.

Idris Elba didn’t meet Nelson Mandela but he was very thorough in his research.

He says: “I got a lot of input from his family. The research spanned for about eight months before I even started filming. I went to South Africa and I stayed there a long time.”

After working on the film Elba certainly found Mandela to be an inspirational figure. The actor maintains the word “sacrifice’ comes to mind when he thinks of Mandela. “To learn sacrifice, to learn how to sacrifice, and to be patient, you know. He humbled me, and continues to,” says Elba.

Many Oscars oddsmakers think Elba could get a best actor nomination for his portrayal.

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