Naomie Harris and Idris Elba looked incredibly jubilant as they stepped out together at the Toronto Film Festival to promote their new film, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which has already earned tons of praise, consideration for an Oscar and the approval of the Mandela family.
Naomie looked stunning as she joined Idris at the film festival where the Nelson Mandela biopic debuted to a standing ovation.
The petite actress takes on the role of Mandela’s wife in the film, but she was stealing the show at the premiere as she flaunted her toned hourglass figure in a chic dress.
The dress hugged her figure perfectly as she paired the striped ensemble with a pair of black booties. Naomi kept her accessories to a minimum and went close to bare with her makeup as well, proving she is indeed a natural beauty.
Idris had a smile plastered on his face all evening. He wore a simple striped T-shirt and shorts.
The short-sleeved shirt served as a reminder of the one criticism that has surfaced about the casting of Idris as Mandela in the biopic.
The British actor is quite a bit more muscular than the former South African president, but if you ask the film’s director he doesn’t see a problem with the casting at all.
According to Justin Chadwick, his goal was about more than just finding an actor who looked like the famous anti-apartheid hero, it was about channeling the passion and powerful spirit that Mandela possessed.
“We’re not going for a looky-likey, soundy-likey version of Mandela,” Chadwick explained on Sunday after the Saturday premiere. “We’re trying to catch the spirit.”
Idris had the same idea in mind as well. He told reporters that he was focused on portraying Mandela’s
energy and “the way people respect him.”
“There was no messing about with this character and this story,” he added.
The film is being discussed as a potential Oscar-winner and even Mandela’s family thinks the depiction does their relative justice.
Kweku Mandela, one of Nelson’s grandsons who is also a filmmaker himself, saw excerpts from the film and said the producers had a tough job ahead of them. Despite the difficult task, Kweku believed that the team had done very well.
“It was a unique and special performance and we hope the world will agree with that,” he added.
Many leading actors had been reviewed for the role over the years, but even Morgan Freeman and Terrence Howard didn’t get the priceless reaction that Idris got from Mandela himself.
Reports revealed that when Mandela saw clips of the film some time ago, his first reaction was, “Is that me?”
Idris also said that he expects to be judged for the role regardless of the family’s approval, but he hopes that the point of such a powerful film won’t be missed.
“The point is that this is called Long Walk to Freedom, this is the book about his life and it’s his own words,” he said, adding that he hopes that is what viewers decide to focus on – not a few extra pounds of muscle.