During the film's London premiere, sisters Zindzi Mandela and Zenani Mandela, who were in the audience, were notified by cell phone of the news that their father Nelson Mandela had just died. When asked whether they'd like the screening to be postponed, they insisted that the premiere go ahead as planned. The sad news, however, was not shared with the rest of the attendees who sat through the screening unaware of Mandela's passing. It wasn't until after the credits rolled at the end of the film that co-producer Anant Singh took the stage to break the news to the audience. The auditorium lapsed into a 2-minute silence as a gesture of respect.
Tom Hooper was linked to the director role for this film and even met Nelson Mandela during development.
Main stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris have the same birthday. Both were born on September 6th, although Elba was born in 1972 and Harris in 1976.
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