By Lilly Workneh, theGrio.com (Article originally published on theGrio.com.)
While Nelson Mandela’s recent hospitalization has been garnering headlines, actor Idris Elba plans on making news of his own as he announced that he will be portraying the South African leader in an upcoming biopic.
According to The Guardian, Elba believes the film to be the finest interpretation of Mandela yet, saying that the movie is “hands down the best.”
“Not in terms of performance,” he clarifies. “But my film’s about his entire life. Anyone wanting to understand who Mandela was should go and watch my film.”
Although the British-born actor is aware that his movie won’t be the first to portray Mandela’s story on the big screen, he does believe that it will capture a more complete portrayal of the South African leader’s experiences.
“Morgan Freeman is outstanding. Terrence Howard is an outstanding actor. But my film is about his life,” Elba said, referring to Freeman’s 2009 movie “Invictus“ and Howard’s depiction of Mandela in “Winnie” – a 2012 film which never made it to theaters.
The actor doesn’t only expect audience members to be pleased with the film, he also confirms that he has heard that Mandela himself has watched parts of the movie and provided positive feedback.
“I wasn’t with him, but I got told that he was really happy. He even asked: ‘Is that me?’” Elba told The Guardian.
Rumors spark discussion that Elba may even win an Oscar for his delivery.
Addressing the chatter, he responds: “I’ve not heard that but it’s a great film. It’s a real picture postcard of his life, and I’m proud of it.”
Watch Morgan Freeman as Mandela in the ‘Invictus’ Trailer