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Former College student plays Mandela
Idris Elba with Barking & Dagenham College students in 2011

Former College student plays Mandela

19 December 2013

Former Barking & Dagenham College performing arts student, turned Hollywood award-winning actor, Idris Elba, is playing the leading role in the new film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Idris, born in Hackney, was a Barking & Dagenham College student in the nineties. He has since commented that the course he took at the College was “influential” in his career*, which has seen him take roles in hits such as the HBO series The Wire and blockbuster Prometheus. Talking about how he got started, Idris revealed to College students:

“I had the best two years of my life at Barking & Dagenham College. It is a great place to learn.”

Commenting on playing Mandela he told Vogue magazine:

“Everybody has a sense of who Mandela is - his nobleness, his white hair, his voice. Those were big shoes to fill."

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