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Idris Elba visits the ‘Today’ show; talks Nelson Mandela

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Actor Idris Elba ended last year on a high note with the release of the critically-acclaimed film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” in which he stars as the late iconic freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. During an appearance on the “Today” show Friday Jan. 3 Elba shared that Mandela had given him his blessing regarding the role.

Related article: Idris Elba mourns Nelson Mandela

“You know, I don't look like Nelson Mandela …that wasn't in his interest. I think he wanted to find someone who could bring that spirit alive. Which I was like, me? I was really sort of taken aback by that.“

Elba added that playing Mandela who died last month has lead him to want to do more in life. His performance as the anti-apartheid leader has garnered him a Golden Globe nomination. Elba previously won the award for his role in the BBC series “Luther”.

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” opened wide in theaters on Christmas day.

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