With the passing of the one of the 20th Century's greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, those who have had the pleasure to meet him are extending their condolences to his loved ones and speaking out about their time with the humanitarian hero. Morgan Freeman, who played Mandela in the film Invictus, recalled his time with the former president in an article for Time Magazine.
Morgan Freeman starts by saying that to call the great man a hero was an understatement of his actions, actions that changed not just the political landscape of his time but also modified the way activism anti apartheid was used.
His teachings on reconciliation even after his political imprisonment was truly inspiring to say the least and Morgan Freeman asks how many of us could do as he did. He spoke about Mandela's capacity to turn even the waning years of his life into a beautiful new foundation for his own people. His call for peace and not retaliation was and will always be the mark of man who knew how to lead and arouse compassion.
Morgan Freeman also touched on meeting Mandela for the first time when he was shooting Invictus. He recollected the time when the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was asked whom he would want to play himself in a movie and he answered Freeman. It was a humbling experience for the talented actor, to say the least. The Academy Award-nominated actor also recalled screening the movie for Mandela and being astounded by his reaction to the film which was that of humility, he only said that perhaps upon seeing the film people would remember him.
Morgan Freeman ends his article by writing: "For in bringing down the evil of apartheid, Mandela raised us up; his wisdom, patience, compassion and insistence on reconciliation make us aspire to be better people."