British actor, singer, DJ, and sexual fantasy of many, Idris Elba, will be portraying Nelson Mandela in an upcoming film about the life of the legendary former South African president. With Mandela believed to be only a few days away from joining Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Sojourner Truth in the Black Hero wing of heaven, needless to say interest in Elba’s film will only intensify.

In a recent interview, the actor discussed how intimidating it was to tackle the role:

“To call the prospect of playing Nelson Mandela intimidating would be to put it lightly. But it’s a massive honor to play this saint amongst men. I was honestly confused about why they came to me. I thought, ‘You can’t be serious! You chose me out of everyone you could have gone to?’ Then I found out that Nelson Mandela was into The Wire. I thought, ‘It’s amazing – he might have kicked back and watched the Wire box set!’ The role was definitely the biggest challenge of my life. I look and sound nothing like the man – but hopefully I’ve pulled it off.”

He also answered whether or not he feels like he’s a role model to the babies out here:

“I’d like to think so – not necessarily by giving talks, but by my actions. I’d also like to think that people from outside my community could take inspiration from what I’ve done. I’m very satisfied with how things have gone. Ten years ago, I’d never have imagined doing all this.

Yesterday I was called a ‘cultural icon.’ How did I react to that? I laughed loudly and said, ‘What?’”

[H/T: Necole Bitchie]

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