Idris Elba and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela at the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Posted by | Cyrena Rose

British actor Idris Elba suffered a severe asthma attack while on a flight bound to South Africa at Heathrow Airport and was rushed to a UK hospital!

The 41-year-old British actor, who plays former South African president Nelson Mandela in his new movie, fell ill on a plane as he prepared  to depart for the country on Friday.

Idris Elba w/his mother Eve Elba Photo Credit: AP

Idris Elba w/his mother Eve Elba
Photo Credit: AP

The film’s producer Anant Singh announced to reporters at the conference, “Idris is in the hospital after an asthma attack on the plane last night.”

There had been fears that Elba, who takes the lead role of the legendary South African leader, would not be able to make it because he was too ill.

Fortunately, he was able to attend the premiere at the upmarket Rosebank cinema complex in Joburg.; telling Sky News the attack took him by surprise.  He was spotted looking a little ill/wiping his brow as he walked the red carpet, he seemed determined to be there.

I’ve battled asthma most of my life and it just overwhelmingly took me down on Friday while I was sitting on a plane…It was a very scary moment for me. A doctor on the plane helped me through it. Thankfully I am here.


Naomie Harris
Photo Credit: AP

Many of Mr. Mandela’s close family were on the red carpet in honor of the man who fought for the democratic rights of black South Africans.

He went on to become the country’s first black president.

The film has been endorsed by the Mandela family and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

After receiving a standing ovation at it’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, both Idris and co-star Naomie Harris have been tipped for award show glory next year.

RC fans, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom opens in theaters November 29.

Click here to see the clip of Idris revealing his battle with asthma.