January 09, 2014
By Pat Hendricks Munson
Idris Elba and Naomie Harris who portrays Nelson and Winnie Mandela in the oscar-worthy film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom were in Palm Springs this past weekend to screen the movie as part of the 25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival being held now through Jan 13.
Elba and Harris, who said she was very nervous to play Winnie Mandela but received rave reviews from Mandela’s former wife, along with U2's Bono and The Edge participated in a question and answer session after the film’s screening Sunday at the Annenberg Theatre in Palm Springs. Elba taught about the “profound effect” of making the movie, meeting Nelson Mandela and the bitter sweet London premiere.
Three quarters through the premiere the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was handed a cell phone. Her expression and the tears rolling down her face let Elba know that something was amiss as the Duchess handed the phone to her husband Prince William. Elba soon learned what the call was all about; Nelson Mandela had just died. Once the film ended an official announcement from South Africa’s President Zuma was read to those in attendance.
The star of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom felt it would be inappropriate to continue promoting the movie. However, he was strongly encouraged by Mandela’s daughters that he most promote the movie and help keep their father's legacy alive. Bono, a friend and long-time supporter of Mandela’s wrote the Golden-Globe nominated theme song, “Ordinary Love” for the movie.