The first footage has hit the web from Darrell Roodt’s Winnie, a biopic of Winnie Mandela and ostensibly an awards vehicle for Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. But as the footage begins, Hudson is quickly overshadowed by FilmDrunk favorite Terrence Howard’s powerhouse performance as Nelson Mandela. Mandela has previously been portrayed on film by a who’s who of fine actors — Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier, Dannis Haysbert, Danny Glover, Dave Chappelle — but never by a philosopher on the level of Terrence Howard. Naturally, we wanted to get the news straight from the source, so we asked Terrence Howard how it felt to play a living saint.
(*the faint sound of bongo drums can be heard across the alley*)
“A lotta cats wanna play Nelson Mandela, man, but do they ever stop to wonder what makes his go-kart wheels go round? Back when we started this, folks would stop me and say, ‘Terrence, what’s with that accent, man? You sound like nasally dracula.’ But I’d say life is a clam dig, man, you can show up with a freezer bag full of preoccupation, but I’d prefer to shovel a while, ya dig? I treat my roles like my grandma treated cornbread, man, like two bed bugs makin’ love in a wind chime. Separation is just dust on the submarine. See, we all of us connected: you, me, Nelson Mandela, my grandma’s cornbread, dust mites, a toilet seat, Koreans, and Olympia Dukakis, man. We one energy. The universe writes the poem, and we provide the finger snaps. Now hold my hat while I scat a while.”