Nov 14 - Idris Elba helps to bring Nelson Mandela's story to life in the new film ''Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The second of two feature films released in 2013 about the Mandela family has begun its red carpet push. "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is based on the former South African's president 1994 autobiography with British actors Idris Elba and Naomie Harris in the lead roles. The New York premiere on Thursday (November 14) is just one stop among many as the cast and Mandela's family travel the world to promote the film. The filmmakers had the full support of the Mandela family for the movie, which Elba said proved invaluable. "The family gave me sort of insight. Not necessarily, you know, 'this is what he's like, play him like this,' no. It was just, gave me a sense of his presence, gave me a sense of that aurora you'd only know if you know him intimately," he said. For Harris, who recently appeared in the latest James Bond film, portraying the private life of Winnie was the challenge. "Because we know the public face of Winnie, but to really understand the woman, you know, the privacy, the private woman behind closed doors was really my challenge. And it was really challenging because there are so many different views about who she was and polarized views about who she is. So to try and pull those all together and make a cohesive character was really difficult. But it really helped to sit down with Winnie ask her herself some questions about her life and who she is and how she wanted to be portrayed. All those kind of questions," she said. "Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom" tells the story of Mandela from his childhood days in his hometown of Qunu, to his time in prison on Robben Island and his struggles with the transition from an apartheid state to a democratic country. The 95-year-old anti-apartheid leader and former president of South Africa spent nearly three months in the hospital this year for a lung infection that left him in critical condition. He has been receiving care at his Johannesburg home since early September. After being incarcerated for 27 years in prison, Mandela preached peace and forgiveness, which won him worldwide admiration as a peace icon. He was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. "Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom" will hit U.S. theaters on November 29.