As it begins to generate Oscar buzz, the new biopic “Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” landed a VIP screening Thursday night at the White House. Stars in attendance included actors Idris Elba (as Mandela); Naomie Harris (Winnie); movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and his wife, designer Georgina Chapman; South African ambassador Ebrahim Rasool; and director Justin Chadwick, who brought his wife, Michelle. (“Good things happen when you marry a Michelle,” President Obama told him, according to our sources.)
Other guests: Valerie Jarrett, administration newbie Rick Stengel and two of Mandela’s real-life daughters, Zindzi and Zenani. Obama made short remarks before the screening, noting the importance of honoring the former South African president. “The human spirit can’t be contained forever,” he said. “Truth and justice will eventually win out.”
The audience also heard a new U2 song, “Ordinary Love,” written specifically for the movie. The screening was held the night before the first lady hosted the first White House Film Symposium (coincidence, huh?), reports our colleague Krissah Thompson – an event that featured Weinstein, Whoopi Goldberg and Blake Lively.
More Reliable Source: Robert Griffin III; Kevin James; Chris Christie; Jimmy Kimmel; George H.W. Bush; Levi Johnston; Brad Paisley; Terry McAuliffe; Conan;Elizabeth Vargas; Ryan Lochte; Goldie Hawn; Nancy Pelosi