tv Charlie Rose PBS December 26, 2013 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
>> rose: nelson mandela died on the fifth of december this year. he was 95 years old. tens of thousands of people gathered for his memorial service in johannesburg. president obama spoke about a departed hero. >> at his trial in 1964, nelson mandela posed a statement from the dock saying "i have fought against white domination and i have fought against black domination. i've cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunitys. it is an ideal which i hope to live for and to achieve. but if needs be, it is an ideal for which i am prepared to die."
nelson mandela lived for that ideal and he made it real. he achieved more than could be expected of any man and today he's gone home and we've lost one of the most influential, courageous and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this earth. he no longer belongs to us, he belongs to the ages. through his fierce dignity and will to sacrifice his own freedom for the freedom of other madiba transformed south africa and knew all of us. his journey from a prisoner to a president embodied the promise that human beings and countries can change for the better. his commitment to transfer power and reconcile with those who
jailed him serve as an example that all humanity should aspire to, whether in the lives of nations or our own personal lives. and the fact that he did it wall grace and good humor and the ability to acknowledge his own imperfections only makes the man that much more remarkable. he once said "i'm not a saint-- unless you think a saint is a siner who keeps on trying." i am one of the countless millions who drew inspiration if nelson mandela's life. my very first political action, the first thing i ever did that involved an issue or policy or politics was a protest against apartheid. >> rose: i interviewed nelson mandela in 1993. you have at this moment no reservation or indecision along with the council you've taken
with your colleagues that the decisions made by you and them are right for south africa, the sacrifices, the toll, the price you've paid, the blood that's been spilled was necessary, painful, but necessary? yes? >> absolutely. we are an organization which from its foundation committed itself to building a nation and focus on non-violent and disciplined struggle. we were forced at the resort to arms by the regime. and the lesson of history is
that the political action which they used are determined by the oppressor himself. if the oppressor uses peaceful means, the oppressed would never resort to violence. it is when the oppressor in addition to its prepressive policies uses violence that the oppressed have no alternative but to retaliate by similar forms of action. and therefore the pains, the blood that was spilled and the responsibility for that lies squarely on the shoulders of the regime. >> rose: tonight, a movie about mandela's life "long walk to freedom" with actor idris elba and director justin chadwick. >> i had to really sort of do do
my research, you know? my research took the tone of, you know, i was more interested in what people thought about mandela once he'd left to room as opposed to what mandela was like in the room. because once he left the room there was this always -- in all the discussions there was this sort of feeling around everyone, his presence stayed in the room. and that spoke volumes to me about the man. >> he doesn't bring any baggage to a character of his own. he gos in and soaks it up and it comes from the inside out and it was very important with this story in particular to have someone prepared to do that. and someone brave, you know? he has big shoes to fill.
>> i, nelson mandela declare that the republican of south africa -- >> rose: mandela's death, coincidentally, happens at the same time as the release of a new movie about his life. it's based on his autobiography "long walk to freedom." it was made with his permission and his family's support. here is the trailer for "mandela: long walk to freedom."
>> my name is nelson mandela. >> ammandla! >> you were winnie, the first social worker i've ever heard and you're the most beautiful girl i've ever seen. >> this is your final warning! >> we're not breaking any laws! ♪ i will be stronger, they'll call me freedom-- ♪ >> something has changed. for 50 years we have been talking peace and non-violence. not anymore. ♪ when i get older, i will be stronger ♪ >> mixed with acid, catalyze
this and you've got it. >> if the blacks take over, our country is finished. >> what would you personally want? >> i have children and a wife. i want them to walk free in their own land. >> the situation on the streets is out of control. >> somebody wants me. >> the accused are responsible for acts of sabotage with the intention of overthrowing the government. >> nelson mandela, do you plead guilty or not guilty? >> my lord, it is not i but the government that should plead guilty. >> you will never touch a woman or a child again. you will never leave there. it's a pity they didn't hang you. i'm going to make sure you wish they had.
>> the more they oppress us, the harder we'll fight. >> freedom. it is an idea for which i am prepared to die. shall we begin? >> rose: joining me now is justin chadwick, the director, and idris elba who stars as nelson mandela. i'm pleased to have them here at this table. welcome. good to see you again. tell me about london and how you learned of nelson mandela's passing? >> well, we were in the middle of the premier and i think it was about a a half hour towards the end and the film -- a phone was passed to prince william and the phone was passed down our row. >> rose: you were sitting next to the duchess of cambridge? >> yes. and prince william sort of looked at this message and sort
of absorbed it for a second and i was distracted by him for a second because i know he'd watched the whole movie with his glasses on and this message he took his glasses off and was sitting in a stupor for a second and it kind of confused mend another phone came my way and this message, it was just -- the weirdest thing. i didn't tell you this, justin. the weirdest thing about this is that the duchess -- i looked at the duchess and she had tears in her eyes for a second and i looked at the phone, and i couldn't believe it. and there's a scene in the movie and nelson's character is sitting with the clerk and he says to the clerk, he says "just open the gate and let me go." that's the line. and it was at that precise moment, that one line where i took my gaze from the duchess, looked down at the phone and we
both looked at the screen and it was that line. it was the -- i mean, the timing of -- it was surreal. it was really, really surreal and you could sense that there was a sort of tension in the auditorium where we were because i guess everyone had sort of heard. >> and i was concerned about -- his daughters were with us, they'd been with us for the last four weeks when we opened the film firstly in johannesburg and then throughout america and then they came and it was -- it was such a celebration for us all, you know, that they're -- so idris left, i left the theater to go up to find out what to do. and they wanted to continue playing it. and i was just so glad that they were together at that moment. >> rose: his children wanted you to continue playing the movie in >> very much so. but if they hadn't have been there one of them would have been in argentina and she'd have heard that news on her own so they were together when they
heard it. >> rose: can this film has been under consideration for a long time. >> and that -- idris and i are relative newcomers to the project -- >> rose: of course you are. but the rights to it, and nelson mandela agreed to i it. >> and madiba, while he was in prison he was an activist, film distributor making illegal films in south africa and he'd twrin madib and he'd already twin book a version of the book in prison and then got the rights and then -- >> rose: in perpetuity. >> yeah. and big nicholson the writer, our staff, went through various drafts of the scripts. >> 34 drafts. >> is that right? i hadn't read 34 drafts but, yeah -- no, that's right. >> 25 years they were toting this idea around.
>> rose: what's interesting about the film, why the film is important-- to me-- it is that we all know nelson mandela after prison but we primarily know him after prison. this is about before prison. the understanding of who this man was and where he came from. >> yeah i think that was a choice that bill and nan and i guess yourself at a certain point thought this is the focus, the younger man. when i came on board the project that decision had already been made and i sort of reinforced, i think, some of the ideas and the ideology behind keeping some of this stuff about the younger man given this journey to look at the older man that we all know and it -- i mean, it's a surprise isn't it for a lot of the audience? because there's so many things that they don't know about mandela they that they discover.
>> rose: and the intensity of the relationship with winnie. >> well, that was what was really unfortunate. and i think that central love relationship -- i went down -- i'm from manchester and we're from outside that country and so i lived there for a year and over the years met many men and women on both sides of the struggle that knew him as a young man. had been out with him. knew him as a boxer and they knew he loved cars and clothes and i'd actually known him and known winnie and they talk about -- and they'd all talked about winnie and when he came together with winnie there was this chemistry, this relationship and that felt-- to bill and i-- very important to look at the story through the prison of that relationship. >> it's a remarkable time period for mandela because he's about 37 years old when he decides to
become an activist. well, no, he's 37 at the pinnacle of his -- him being a lawyer in soweto. by the time he's 43 years old he's on his way to jail for the rest of his life. and in that time period he meets winnie. >> rose: we saw in the trailer. they said "you'll never touch a child again." >> i'm 41 years old, now. and that time is just so compressed when you think about how much his life changed in about seven or eight years. >> rose: you are -- you're larger than he is in terms of -- >> well, he's 6'3. >> rose: he's 6'3? and you hear what? >> i'm 6' 2-1/2. (laughter) >> rose: but just before he went into prison he was a heavyweight boxer and you look at those images before he went into prison, he kept that training through prison and he slimmed down. i remember the family talking about he became very lean in
prison but beforehand he was well built. strong. >> rose: so tell me how you saw it and what you had to do in order to bring this man alive. >> rose: >> justin and i discussed early on. in fact, when justin came to me i was reluctant to take this part. >> rose: because? >> i don't look like mandela. i felt -- honestly i felt those were two big shoes to step into. too big of a spare of shoes to ten in. i like my career but i didn't feel i had the attributes to play someone like nelson mandela and justin did not agree. but we discussed what it is we wanted to foe cuts in on. what was it about me that we felt could bring this character to life and we spoke about aura. >> rose: aura. >> aura. presence. it's an odd thing to admit about yourself but i've been told all my career, all my life, actually that i have a presence and an aura and that's what justin
snuck in on in our discussions. everything i would say to combat why i shouldn't play or to combat -- reinforce why i shouldn't play mandela he said "yeah, but idris, the aura." and he would talk about mandela's aura in court as a young man. he would talk about mandela's aura amongst women. he would talk about mandela's force of nature in terms of when he would do these speeches in soweto among "you know, rally not retreat." people really felt his words and in fact, it was in conflict to the a.n.c. at the time, the early ann see why sort of like who is this mandela guy doing that? so basically we felt like we had to do his aura and presence alive. we won't do the looky life, the audience will have to accept that from frame one. this is about an aura. this is about a man. this is about a mandela you haven't seen before in the latter part of the film the audience get rewarded by seeing
the symbol of the man, the hair, the makeup. but the other stuff about the you are a. a and i had to really sort of do my research but i was interested about what people thought about mandela once he left the room as opposed to what mandela was like when he was in the room. because once he left the room there was this always -- you know, in all the discussions there was this sort of feeling around everyone. his presence stayed in the and that spoke volumes to me about the man and helped me guide -- my presence, whatever you like, primitive or raw, does s not like mandela's but it helped me nurture that presence with justin's guidance and then we started to put that into performance in the early days we'd sit around the table and read the script and understand what words worked, what scenes worked. it was a long process. >> rose: how much were you
influenced by your own sense of your father? >> massively. i mean, the older mandela was completely sort of framed around my dad. the he was 76, my dad, my late dad, when he died. >> rose: died recently? >> yeah, september. and he was the only man i knew very intimately to understand what a man of that age feels like, processes, ideas, sounds, talks. you know, the whole environment of a man that age and without meeting mandela i food way to emulate that on screen. there's no way so i just -- and my dad had this -- my dad had beautiful gray silver hair and big winning smile and was very charismatic, loved to talk, loved to tell stories and he would -- you know, things he would do i just sort of mimicked. my dad would point with his middle finger and i've seen
pictures of mandela doing that and that and i would just sort of go, right, okay. and you just pick up things that ultimately, you know -- it's an interpretation, we kept saying that. this is an interpretation. >> rose: exactly. >> but idris had to -- and all the actors playing these iconic characters from history and recent history had to step on to streets that were populated by men and women living the struggle in south africa, who knew these leaders intimately. this isn't c.g.i. he had to walk on there and be so that aura was very, very important to capture. it vision a londoner but he goes on those stages. south africa south africans were very accepting but they would not accept any of the characters f think hadn't been true to the men and women they were representing. >> rose: tell us about the relationship between walter and mandela. >> that is a beautiful friendship.
i mean -- >> key to the film. >> rose: that's why i asked. >> yeah, it was a great bond there between those two men. that was special and tony knew the family -- the gentleman in the place had a connection before the film. i'd worked with tony before and he does that man justice in the film. >> because mandela at that point made a lot of impressions on people and then here comes a man who makes an impression on him. and changes the course of his life and at an advanced age. it wasn't like he was 15, he was in his late 30s. >> rose: tell me-- and then we'll see a clear here-- let's take a look at this clip. this is telling a theater full
of people that they need to fight. i mean, you have to understand what this film shows you he was fighting and he understood what the a.n.c. had to do was fight. roll tape. >> he is good looking, but you must give me sofia loren everyday. we are the people of this nation. but we don't have power. we don't have rights. we don't have justice. south africa now is a land ruled by the garden. there comes a time in the life of every nation when there remains two choices. submit or fight. (cheers and applause) >> rose: it should be said, you did not have an opportunity to talk to nelson mandela, it was too late when you started making this film, correct?
>> yeah. he was very frail. it was an opportunity, but we decided against -- you know who, i didn't want to encroach on his space, you know? >> rose: didn't know how much time he had. >> yeah, i just wanted him to -- he was very -- he knew of my presence. i sent him a birthday message which i heard he acknowledged. his family were very sort of -- they surrounded me if i wanted winnie and the foundation was so general raus to us. >> rose: what's the biggest challenge for you as a director here? >> well, you're making a movie in africa, difficult train. i'm dealing with a real story where men and women are very much alive. ma dee be was alive while we were making the film.
the family, the jailers, they're very much alive and i meat lot of people. and the challenge is to get away with what south africans were thinking what we were going to make and just make a raw, visceral, emotional and real story and be true to the men and women we're representing. >> rose: how do you see it as different from other movies that have been made? by just that fact? >> well, we were making a film about a relationship, about a marriage, about a love story. so as much as it's about apartheid it's about forgiveness and we had input from those men and women that it was about. i think naomi, for example, is the only actress who's played winnie to ever sit down with winnie and talk to her. we spent time with people talking to people and finding outboth sides -- >> rose: what did she learn from winnie? >> winnie gave her her blessing. she gave her her blessing to play the part so she's the right
foreign play the part, she'd done her home work, done her research and so to play in the way she saw fit. and the film doesn't shy away from any of the controversial flaws of the character we're portraying and i think for us it was about dropping the audience amongst them. so you're in 360 degree worlds that are real. they're alive. they are populated by men and women that lived there. the generals at the end who shrewd madiba, who shrewd idris, brought their own uniforms. the blur between what we were trying to make and trying to make it feel completely -- >> rose: you knew you had to have him? >> right from the beginning. yeah, he was my first choice. >> rose: because of the aura thing? >> not just the aura. >> rose: and he was a great actor? >> he's a good man. >> rose: he's a good man? >> a i'd heard he was a good man. >> rose: that what you've heard?
>> and i love idris. he doesn't bring any baggage to a character of his own. he soaks it up and comes from the inside out and it's very important with this story particularly to have someone that was prepared to do that and someone brave he has big shoes to fill. >> rose: oh, sure. yeah. what prepared you for this in terms of acting, do you think? >> i don't think there's any one single role -- >> rose: just the evolution of an actor? >> yeah. and it's -- my career's spanned over 20 years but what justin was talking about earlier, you know, that scene in particular that we've just seen the clip of justin didn't allow know rehearse it. the audience weren't told that idris elba is playing this role. they weren't told too much information. they were put into their cus costumes, put into that scene and that film was running for at least six or seven minutes before i steppedened and when i stepped on justin had two or
three cameras on, one in the audience for their reaction and one on me as i get up on stage. we lover it later on, but the first reaction from them is about oh, oh! and it was interesting how it was -- >> rose: was it one take here? >> well, the audience reaction is the first take. >> rose: the first take, yes. the audience's reaction to him. >> the challenge for me, the challenge was to sort of -- south africa, the films i've made the the past, like "daddy's little girl" or tyler perry's film, "the wire" they know idris elba but when i stepped up on stage they were like oh! it was this real sort of laughter and joy because i was there and then it was a realization that oh, he's playing mandela, koog. and they hear the voice. they mayer that message and then they feel the aura. i hate to say it like that but what was happening was you saw it on their faces that they really got riled up by what we
were doing. it was -- south africans make film, they make film. they've been doing that. but this was a film that was trying to realistically show their history in a way that didn't sell it out. didn't pretend. they weren't taking a lie from me. so when they knew they should have been listening some of them were still laughing but that's probably what mandela had to go through in the first place when he was there. having to stand up there and say the spear of the nation, which is the military arm of the a.n.c., that was a new idea. in soweto these kids are sitting there going "what? fight? really? we've heard of you mandela, but how? how do we fight this establishment. ?" so it was interesting what was happening in real life. >> rose: when you look back at it now, what are you proudest of in this movie? >> wow. i guess i'm -- i'm proud of
those moments, actually. those moments with 700 south africans who were there for the day and they're playing part in their history in a film which is close to them and we're doing speeches that move them, you know? move. i mean, you know, they would look me dead in the eye while i was doing this speech and sometimes every now and again you'd get some guy who would stand up and maybe overacting for the camera but he was feeling the spirit, something inside of him was getting stronger and then a woman over there would burst into tears because of -- that was the moment i think i was most proud of. then secondary to that, you know opening the film in south africa. >> taking it back to them. >> rose: and watching our families. my three kids were there, my wife, with the mandelas, with eddie daniels. barbara hogan, all these men and
women -- and so all these people, the i have to say we were -- because they'd given us complete freedom. no one at any point said "you must do this. you must do that." they knew it was going to be a raw interpretation. they knew it was going to be flaws and all so their response meant everything to us. >> rose: when you came to the united states as an actor you worked on voice, yes? >> yes, constantly for about four years. >> rose: i know you did. (laughs) how important was voice in this? i mean, you don't look like him. you have to aura. but voice is important. >> it is, yeah. the audience need something to grasp on to when you ask the audience to look at me, i look nothing like mandela but believe me. >> rose: you hear the voice, believe me. >> yeah, in movies when they say -- you know, always god's got a deep voice. this is what the audience immediately responds to. but with mandela he's so
distinctive, his voice is so characteristic it is audience needed something to hold on to immediately and it was important for us, wasn't it, that we got language of his voice correct. we couldn't match it perfectly, but we wanted to feel his presence and his voice. >> rose: i want to show you a clip of a conversation i did with him in 1993. >> oh, god. >> no way! >> rose: you ready? >> yeah, i'm ready. >> rose: role tape. nelson mandela on this talking about boxing. >> it taught me discipline, how to go forward and how to retreat. is when the opposition is so strong that we could not overcome it and how to flank problems even before you actually don the gloves you must be taught the basic rules of the game. and to be able to advance, to go
forward when you feel that way and you can put out your enemy, your opponent, you must do so. but when you begin fighting, your rival is superior, you stay out and you keep him away and you sit around, you concentrate on body punches and wear him down and you have to study your enemy even before you go to the ring but even more important, study anymore the ring and don't take him for granted. we are negotiateing and when you are negotiating in regard to a country, you were not thinking of victory. >> rose: no victory? >> you're not thinking of
victory for yourself. you don't want the opponent to be a loser. you are thinking of a victory for the people as a whole south africans must be the victimors. not to the a.n.c., not to the leader of the a.n.c., but the people of south africa. >> yeah, wow. >> that's fascinating. that's just fascinating to watch that because it really does sum up his philosophy whether it comes from boxing or not, but he has a real sort of mastermind view on the art of combat, on the art of negotiation. he just has this really different sort of point of view. >> he understood his enemy. he learned aftercannes while in prison. he understood his enemy, understood what he was fighting for. african. >> what we call an enemy he didn't call an enemy. afterkuan. >> he understood where they were
coming from. >> the other side, we'll go back to the movie, this is the other relationship between mandela and winnie and here it is. >> are you ashamed to greet me in front of my people. >> when new public you must represent the policies of the a.n.c. >> and what does that mean? >> we are negotiating, we are not fighting a war. >> but the people have chosen to fight. do you want me to betray our people? >> do i betray our them? >> i waited a long time -- >> what does that mean i've been away? does that mean you can terrorize people? it has to stop, winnie. >> you realize there's a war out there? the people are angry! >> we are all angry! i am angry! you are angry! but you must show loyalty! loyalty, winnie mandela. >> rose: now, what's happening
there? >> you know, that's -- >> rose: took you back to that scene. >> that was a difficult scene to shoot, actually. because the nature of it, that speech, you know about the a.n.c. and their sort of -- their strategies but that was a moment when they were actually sort of -- the first time talking about them. >> yeah. and he's a man that's been in prison for 27 years, comes out, wants to negotiate, she's been living in it. in soweto. she still live there is today. she's in it so there's these two separate views about what we should do. let's seize the country, take it by whatever means necessary. no we move forward and negotiate >> so the love in this story is not only about his love for her but also for country. >> i think for both of them. they they both had this calling for their people and their country. they just had different ways of
trying to achieve their people there. and it's very different when you're living in amongst it and what happened to winnie is a 23-year-old woman whose husband is stripped away from her. winnie had two very, very young children and a husband she didn't know where she was going to see. to have 17 months not knowing where her children where, this young woman is full of anger. >> and the film -- we try and show it, it's a moment in the film but the understanding that mandela had sort of given up on the fight. it was sort of spread rife, you know, once he was in jail. when he was in jail it was a lot of "mandela's old, he doesn't fight anymore." and so when he came out of jail and was talking a very different language from the fight, the
armed struggle, he was talking in negotiations to -- you know, that set him and his wife aside but it also set him -- it was a very tumultuous time for him when he got out of prison because that -- he had to negotiate on one hand and on the same time he had to keep his people believing in him and he wasn't showing any guns. >> and at that time, the period right where you're interviewing -- it's just after your clip, isn't it? here's a man that's been training himself, holding his ideas comes out to the most bloody -- no one knew what to do. no one. i mean, that pernicious eagle of racism was descending into utter madness and no one knew how to handle it. what was happening, we were with men and women who had been there at that time we were talking about it, it was complete -- it
could have been a complete bloodbath and how he saw against his fellow a.n.c. members, his wife, the people close to him and the people and so there was a way to negotiate through -- i mean, it's also -- >> and on top of that, no matter which way the a.n.c. dealt with the struggle it all looked -- they all looked like it came from nelson mandela, you know? because there's a large faction of the world that thinks that nelson mandela was a complete terrorist period. >> rose: right. >> and that's to do with the -- >> rose: ann, see communism, all that. >> there's a massive misdirection that was happening and nelson had to wear it all. he was the a.n.c. or represented it. it was quite an interesting time. >> rose: and patience was his virtue. >> i mean -- you know, it's beyond that, isn't it, for you and i it's patience. that is something else. >> rose: everything about this
is something else, isn't it? i mean, you can't just -- you know, you cannot imagine what 27 years away does and how you keep your sense of "when i get out." >> i've been telling this story in the press quite a lot but for the preparation in the two or three months that i had prior to filming i asked if i could stay in robben island for the night and they said no. like "it's not gonna happen. the last prisoner stayed in there in the late '80s or what not. they said it's a museum now, you can't stay them. and i asked and asked and eventually they said yes and they said i couldn't say in mandela's cell, it's sacred, but there was a wing that hadn't been used, it's not part of the tour, you can say in one of the cells there. ironically it was "c" wing which was punishment wing and i spent one night there, from 7:45 to
about 7:45 in the morning and, you know, i've never been locked up before and the sense of loss of your freedom is a horrible thing. you can't describe it. but in the morning i was so annoyed. i was so angry. the guys name is lieu well lynn, he was looking after me, he was happy to see that i was all right and i was furious. he was like "you all right, man?" and like "no, i can't believe they locked one? this cell for 19 years. i spent one night!" and then it comes out of there with a completely clear ed. i spent one night and wanted to kill someone. just in perspective, you know? it helped me actually sort of give know a context about -- because a lot of our film spends time the prison and we didn't want to do prison acting.
there was a part of his life, this was 19 years of his life where he became a man in this prison so it was important that i got context of what prison would do to you and robben islands especially. >> and how they had such forgiveness, those men. all of them had this. eddie daniels talks -- he served his time on "b" wing. they have no hatred believe it or not. they are -- they're so full of forgiveness. one of them said on the first night i was there, you know, he didn't hear a child for 27 years. didn't hear a child. they curse them as men and -- >> that line. this is where film making is great because that line that tony was -- you know, his smile, this should be the biggest service you could ever do for your country. attempt to some up the spirit because they were prepared to
die. and they get life in prison. so they've almost got a second wind of life. they made the decision, we all sat there and said all right, we'll take the necklace in, whatever. and then they get life in prison. that must have been a second win for them. so they'd gone in with a completely different mentality, haven't say in because they should be dead and they've made that decision. >> rose: let me show you there clip. this is what mandela does when he tells the courtroom what he's willing to die for and why. >> >> i've cherished the ideal of a free, democratic society where all persons live together in harmony with equal opportunities it is an ideal which i hope to live for and achieve but if need be it is an ideal for which i am
prepared to die. >> nelson mandela, do you plead guilty or not guilty? >> my lord, it is not i but the government that should be put in the dark. i plead not guilty. (cheers and applause) >> rose: it must have been good to give that speech. >> yeah, that was -- >> it was a tough responsibility there. because that was one of the few recordings of madiba that exist and everybody around -- everybody who knows. he's the first -- it's one of the first recordings him. there is that one. >> it's interesting because one of the things we had to play up in the movie is that speech in real life is four hours long.
and mandela speaks with quite an english accent and very, very slow. and he trips up on his words. i've heard some of it. that last line he said "if need be" in the actual recording he says "if it is need be." he makes a mistake on that one line and he makes that mistake because braham -- what was braham's last night? braham fisher had read his four hour dissertation and said "listen, don't just give it to them on the plate. say here if need be i'm prepared to die. if needs b." and he reads it. obviously i could tell what he's doing. he's reading it, he's not quite sure how it -- it tripped him up. >> rose: right, right. >> so he says if it is need be -- and it's quite a slow, slib pace. it took four hours to do that. but for us we had to make that a
little more smooth, i guess. the interpretation. >> rose: so where where are we now in terms of the release of the film? >> well, we saw it -- that was the first thing, we spent the day after the premier with the two sisters as they were preparing to go back home and i asked them "what do we do now?" and they said "you carry on with it. it's true to my father's legacy so you carry on." so we've -- we're just in the schedule slightly in terms of this week particularly is the funeral and the mourning. >> and they kind of told me off a little bit. >> rose: the daughter? >> yeah, the daughter because i was like -- you know, let's shut it down for a little bit. it's a movie, it will be okay. and she looked me in the eye and she said "no, that's -- you do what's comfortable for you but that's not what my father would want."
>> rose: go ahead. >> it's not about him, she said. she said it's about his work. his philosophy and this is the movie he sanctioned. and i have to be honest, it was a moment -- because she's quite formidable, she's beautifully soft and nurturing but when she looks you in the eye and tells you what her opinion is you don't mess around and i stood back for a second and i was like right, i stand corrected if that's what you think we should be doing is goo go ahead and keep this movie alive and celebrate this man's life. let's do it. my personal comfortability, i was like i don't feel -- it wouldn't feel like to promote this film that the point but --. >> rose: but if it helped understand the man it seems to me this adds to an understanding man
>>. it does. there's no doubt about it. it's a film that -- it's a massive education, this film. i'm going to show the film this week to a bunch of students and that's one of the engagements i haven't canceled. >> rose: students here or where? >> in america, in atlanta. >> rose: let me finally talk about winnie mandela. what happened? what changed? because when he came out of prison it was different. obviously he's been in prison and that would change a considerable amount. but she's changed, too, because she's gone through a different experience. >> she's been amongst that. she's lived through it i mean, it was atrocious what was happening in the township. she'd seen that, men and women being murdered. the '76 riots. the pernicious evil spreading. she'd actually been there and right in it and i mean it was one of the last things she said
to us before we started filming, he said "those old men, all they wanted to do is talk. we should have fought with the last drop of our blood." because that -- she was angry. she was living and breathing it and the men accosted those families and the people of south africa -- it was brutally horrific. i don't know what changed between them. i think it's very, very -- it must have been very, very difficult and painful but i think there's always been a strong bond between them to have been the end. i think it was a very, very strong bond. >> rose: well, you should know that because of -- the relationship is -- a big part of the film. >> yeah. but circumstances happen to differ. each had a different set of circumstances. >> she was a different person. >> rose: he was a different person, too, wasn't he? >> i'm not sure. i believe he went into prison
with a set of ideals and the world came to mandela. >> rose: i agree with that. >> i think he kept true to those ideals. >>. >> rose: a different person does not suggest a weakened person but perhaps a stronger person. >> rose: he'd honed those ideals. he found a way forward. he waited, biding his time for the right time. and i don't think that lessoned the bond that they had as a couple but each individual had gone through very, very different set of circumstances. >> rose: you know, apartheid, the whole time mandela was in jail we know apartheid was still alive and kicking and apartheid in jail versus apartheid out on the streets is two different things. >> rose: absolutely. >> so i think where -- when he's sort of -- you know, had been eroded, if you like, you know,
her will to negotiate, her will to sort of look at her country in a way that could be reconciled had eroded and mandela's had been strengthened in jail simultaneously because although he was in jail and it wasn't fun it wasn't anything compared to what was outside. >> that's one of the things that was said to me. he said however terrible it was on robben island, they had each other as men. i have that had each other close strong relationships on the same wing. all of those men were on the same wing. they didn't have a handful of days in solitary confinement. we had months and months and months where they terribly and physically mentally abused us. so that was personal. it does something. so they had that group of men and also men not from just the
a.n.c. but other political parties that were on the same wing. >> but winnie also has that mandela name to hold on to, you know? she represents mandela. that was her name. so when she's living in soweto, people are saying what would mandela do she had quite an interesting struggle, i guess. a part of me thinks a part of her could have, would have reconcileed but had she had not the pressure of being a mandela as well as standing right there and being tortured, that killed it. >> rose: is this the best time of your life? >> it's a pinnacle in my career, absolutely. >> rose: but you lost your father in september. >> yeah.
i've never lost anyone closest to me in my life. i've never experienced loss in that sense so this is completely but not having my parents around has been tough. >> rose: has acting been everything you wanted it to be? >> oh, yeah. more so. i had an amazing, amazing career. in a short space of time i've been very, very lucky. fortunate. i've had my downs but i've had some amazing ups. >> rose: is there connection to the characters that you do? >> between the characters or between myself. >> rose: well in the sense that you think you bring the same quality of the-to-each of these roles maybe it's the aura, maybe it's something like that that you bring to these roles so that
if you're for the movie, you know it's going to be of a certain >> i hope so, but i like to force -- >> whether it's on the page or not it's the complexity that sits amongst us. at this very table we're having the discussion and we're aware of what's going on around us. we're aware the cameras are running, we're aware there's certain things you can and can't say. what an actor needs to do is bring that stuff and let it sit right underneath the face and the words that you presented with. that's what i'd like to do. so even it's a character sitting there and listening, one wants to see what he's thinking or at least get a sense of it and that's, i think, what i bring to each character, whether he's got one line or ten lines you know? i want to see the complexity of what he's thinking about. >> rose: someone i think has speculated you might be the first black james bond. >> (laughs)
>> who is the first yellow one? >> rose: i don't know. (laughs) >> it's a real big rumor that's sort of taken alight with the world and interestingly i think -- if it was to ever happen, i tell you what, that would be the will of a nation. i said it in interviews all the time that it would be the will of a nation because i think so many people would love to see some -- you know, a character like that that's iconic and historically been a white male that would represent such massive change, wouldn't it. >> rose: interest idea. what's next for you? >> i'm doing a movie. but not until next year. >> rose: take some time off after this? >> no, we've got to work. we made the film for an audience an independent african movie
financed solely out of south africa. >> rose: you raised all the money. >> all the money. so to have that film played in the cinemas is so important for us. >> rose: so the book was first published in 1993, so ten years later the movie arrives. >> amazing. >> rose: thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: good to see you. thank you for joining us. see you next time.
the following kqed production was produced in high definition. ♪ ♪ ♪ every single bite needed to be great. >> twinkies in there. >> wow! >> it's like a great, big hug in the whole city. >> that food is about all i can handle. my parents put chili powder in my baby food. >> french fries everywhere, all over the table and just a lot of chili.