CATEGORIES Movies

Nelson MandelaAli Haydar Yurtsever/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images


As the world mourns former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95, filmmakers behind the latest Mandela biopic, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," have offered condolences of their own.

Idris Elba, who plays the anti-apartheid leader in the film, released the following statement:

What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Harvey Weinstein, co-chair of "Long Walk to Freedom" distributor The Weinstein Company, also released a statement reacting to the news, from the London premiere of the film:

One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalize those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy. It's been an honor to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice. I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humor was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.

Morgan Freeman, who portrayed Mandela in the 2009 movie "Invictus," weighed in with his own eloquent remembrance:

Today the world lost one of the true giants of the past century. Nelson Mandela was a man of incomparable honor, unconquerable strength, and unyielding resolve -- a saint to many, a hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of humankind. As we remember his triumphs, let us, in his memory, not just reflect on how far we've come, but on how far we have to go. Madiba may no longer be with us, but his journey continues on with me and with all of us.

Mandela passed away at his home in Johannesburg after facing numerous health issues in recent months. He is set to receive a state funeral.
Nelson Mandela Dead: Former South Africa President Dies At 95