Naomie Harris attends the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England
*Jennifer Hudson isn’t the only actress about to hit the big screen as Winnie Mandela.
Naomie Harris, who arrives in theaters Friday in the latest James Bond thriller “Skyfall,” [scroll down for the trailer] portrays the wife of former South African president Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” with Idris Elba starring as her famous husband.
“I started filming that two days after I finished Bond,” the English actress told us during recent interviews for the 007 project. “So that’s all I had as a break to completely get my head into something completely different, like learning the accent… It was really tough.”
Naomie Harris and Daniel Craig attend the Royal World Premiere of ‘Skyfall’ at the Royal Albert Hall on October 23, 2012 in London, England
Hudson’s “Winnie,” in theaters Nov. 12, is based on Anne Marie du Preez Bezrob’s biography “Winnie Mandela: A Life,” and follows the politician through her childhood, marriage and husband’s incarceration under apartheid.
“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is adapted from Nelson Mandela’s memoir about his time in prison, his subsequent release and rise to the presidency. At present, it does not have a U.S. distributor, but is scheduled to open in Harris’ native UK in 2013.
First Look: Director Justin Chadwick’s “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” which stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris as Nelson and Winnie Mandela.
Below, the newest Bond girl explains how difficult it was for her to step into Winnie Mandela’s shoes.
*OMG! Finally the Winnie Mandela biopic is heading to theaters, after being held in the back room of some studio. And Jennifer Hudson looks amazing in it.
“Winnie” opened up at the Montreal International Black Film Festival this week, and will be in Canadian theaters by Oct. 5. The film will finally reach the U.S. in November. Yeah, we gotta wait a little longer, but it’s totally worth it.
It’s been one of those projects that has gone through a lot over the course of it’s development. Since it’s 2011 Toronto premiere, the film has a few battle scars, inflicted by critics, J-Hud haters, and ‘re-dos.’
Writer/director Darrell Roodt says the main source of complaints stemmed from the casting choice. But he had Jennifer and Terrence Howard in mind from the beginning.
“Terrence Howard is my all-time favorite actor,” he said in an interview with IndieWire.com’s Shadow and Act blog. “I just think that guy’s an astonishing man, and I got him and it was amazing. And Jennifer – when I saw her in ‘Dreamgirls’ I was busy writing Winnie at the time, and I said this is a really interesting human being. I think she would be [right for the part.] So we went to them both and we got them both. It was one of those wonderful things where we didn’t chase anyone.”
To say the least, he was surprised by the audience’s backlash over the casting decision, thinking that the two would bring more positive reactions.
“The thing I say to the detractors, for example in my own country, is to see the film,” Darrell said. “Just see how much effort and homework these actors put into it. What Terrence Howard brought to the table is nothing less than astonishing in my estimation. It’s just incredible, the depth with which he approached his character, and Jennifer did as well. She was just amazing.”
*Divorce is never pretty and for Terrence Howard it’s been beyond ugly.
But now the actor is free, sort of, from the burden of tackling the legalities and settlement stuff that comes along with divorce.
Now, he’s dealing with more drama. His former manager is coming from the gutter of his past and is claiming that Howard owes her major money in unpaid commission.
Victoria Fredrick filed a lawsuit against the actor last year that states he owes her more than $130,000 for his role in “Winnie” and “Fightin.” He earned a combined $2.75 million.
Wait, that’s not all.
She also claims he owes her residuals for some of his title movies, including “Hustle and Flow,” “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” and “Iron Man,” along with several other movies that haven’t been made yet.
But Howard quickly shot back at the woman, saying she was never a manager in that sense. She was simple a personal assistant, a life manager who answered his calls, ran errands. She had nothing to do with his career he sai
And with that bit of info passed along to the judge, the case was dismissed last week after they settled for an undisclosed amount.
*Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard of the film “Winnie” will be among the bevy of stars scheduled to attend the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, joining a lineup that includes Robert De Niro, Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Ralph Fiennes, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman and James Gandolfini.
Hudson and Howard will walk the red carpet with their director Darrell J. Roodt into Roy Thomson Hall for the world premiere of “Winnie,” the Canada/South African co-produced biopic about Winnie Mandela, the wife of Nelson Mandela.
The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run from September 8 to 18.
*If you’re wondering just how did Jennifer Hudson prepare for her role as Winnie Mandela, she went to jail!
She did a five day stint in solitary confinement in an African prison, which was just enough for her. Becoming Winnie has been a strenuous and emotional process.
“As a woman, I am angry for her, hurting for her,” she adds, “And as a mom? God, being in solitary confinement, away from my son just for five days when shooting those scenes – it was too much for me. I was drained and stripped down. I was changed.”
“Her hair was tangled, her eyes sunken, and she started having imaginary conversations with her son,” says Newsweek.
Also, as we reported, Hudson will be co staring in “Winnie” alongside Terrence Howard. And, as we reported, she’ll also be presenting at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.