Inside the ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ Premiere

Dec 5, 2013 6:37pm

News of Nelson Mandela’s death at the age of 95 made its way to the London premiere of the highly anticipated biopic, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” about the former South African president and liberator.

After the Mandela photo montage played over the credits, the house lights came up at the Odeon Leicester Square theater and an announcement was made and a moment of silence was observed by the cast, including the film’s star Idris Elba, who played Mandela, ABC News sources report.

AP GTY idris elba nelson mandela split sk 131205 16x9 608 Inside the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Premiere

Idris Elba weighs in on playing Nelson Mandela in a biopic that premiered in the UK today. (Credit: AP Photo | Getty Images)

Read: Nelson Mandela Dead: Icon Dies at 95

Elba, 41, released a statement after hearing about Mandela’s death.

“What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family,” he said. “I am stunned at this very moment, in mourning with the rest of the world and Madiba’s family. We have lost one of the greatest human beings to have walked this earth, I only feel honored to be associated with him. He is in a better place now.”

Related: Jennifer Hudson on Playing Winnie Mandela

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also on hand for the premiere and apparently learned of Mandela’s death while the movie was in progress. They left after the credits.

 

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