The Long Walk to Oscar

Boldfacers turn out to support Idris Elba and his buzzed-about Nelson Mandela biopic


Idris Elba and Naomie Harris   
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"Three weeks after Nelson Mandela got out [of prison in South Africa], Robert De Niro and I brought him to the Tribeca Film Festival, and we thought he would talk about politics, but instead he said that on Thursday nights at Robben Island, the one thing he did was watch movies," Harvey Weinstein said last night before the Cinema Society's screening of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. "He talked about Eddie Murphy's films, Bob De Niro's films, Oliver Stone's movies, some of my movies—it was the most incredible thing for those of us in the industry, and I have never forgotten the story about Thursday nights."

Weinstein was joined at the Ziegfeld Theater by his cohosts for the Burberry-sponsored evening, U2 (who unveiled their first new material in three years, a song called "Ordinary Love," for the film) and Anna Wintour; the film's stars, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris; as well as Mandela's daughter, ambassador Zenani Mandela-Dlamini.

"This man, also known as Dad, really turned our life upside down, or right-side-up rather," said Bono. "We have been working for him since we were teenagers, so we just didn't want to blow it. Our song is a complicated love song about a very complicated story." Elba, who plays Mandela, didn't have the good fortune of meeting the world leader. "I watched his body language and how people reacted to him, and that's how I learned about his essence," said the actor, who was in Burberry. "Also, I learned he was very choosy about the types of suits he wore—they made almost five hundred different suits for me for the film."

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