Elba recalls discovering Mandela had passed away

By  | Dec 05, 2018, 07:59 PM

Idris Elba recently shared the moment he discovered that former South African president and struggle icon, Nelson Mandela had passed away, at the London premiere of 'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' in London.

The British actor, who portrays the struggle hero in the film, told BBC Radio 2 that the Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, alerted him to the news.

He tells, "Literally halfway through the film Mandela had passed and there was sort of a slight buzz around the auditorium. Interestingly, the Duchess, Kate, sort of turned to me and looked at me as she had her phone and I wondered what was wrong with her because she looked quite emotional, but the film's very emotional.

"And my girlfriend looked at me and handed the phone and I looked down and Mandela had passed and it was on a website. It was just the most surreal moment. I looked back at Kate and Prince William and they were just in tears with me. It was just odd. Very odd."

"There's a moment in the film and I play older Mandela and he says this one line and it is 'Just open the gate and let me free' - and I kid you not, that that was the one line when we heard the news that was on the screen."

According to WENN.com, Elba recalls that breaking the news to the audience after the film was surreal.

Elba adds, "It only felt appropriate to say what had happened and honestly there was an audible gasp in the auditorium. Some people didn't know, they had their phones off. It was just surreal.

"It was very odd, after seeing the credits and I walk on stage. They were giving me a nice round of applause but it was just this moment where I had to say please sit down, and announcing the official speech from President (Jacob) Zuma of South Africa. It was just weird."