The star of the new Nelson Mandela movie is recovering in hospital after suffering an asthma attack on his way to the film’s South African premiere.

Idris Elba, who plays the former president in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, fell ill on a plane but was taken off the aircraft before it left the UK.

The 41-year-old British actor missed a news conference in Johannesburg but producers hope he will recover in time for a planned red carpet appearance on Sunday.

Elba, who is best known for his role as a detective chief inspector in the hit TV series Luther, stars alongside Skyfall actress Naomie Harris in the forthcoming film.

She plays Mr Mandela’s wife Winnie in the movie, which follows the anti-apartheid leader’s journey from childhood, through to his imprisonment on Robben Island and his subsequent release and inauguration as South Africa’s first democratically-elected leader.

The biopic had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, at which Elba won praise for his portrayal of Mr Mandela.

Speaking at the festival, the actor said: “I moved to South Africa for about three months prior to shooting, just so that I could understand what South Africa was like … and to understand the tribes, especially Mr Mandela’s.

“The challenges were massive but we embraced them. He had a very difficult life, so we weren’t expecting to make an easy film.”

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom is released in the UK on January 3, 2014.

source: skynews