Idris Elba: My Mandela Is My Dad

To play the South African revolutionary, the British actor turned to his factory-worker father

11 . 29

Idris Elba spent a night alone in a barren cell on Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, and he came to some conclusions. "The place is haunted," says the British actor, who was there to research the title role of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. "At one point I started to nod off, and this freezing breeze passed my face--it was the end of summer, not cold out at all--and it woke me up, the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. I guarantee you it was a spirit."

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