Date: 5th March 2002
WILL SMITH has loved taking his new movie ALI (2001) to Africa, but the actor will never play former South African leader Nelson Mandela on film. The former African National Congress (ANC) was guest of honour at the Muhammad Ali biopic's South African premiere amid reports Hollywood is planning a movie about the life of the 83-year-old political activist.
Smith is an obvious candidate for the role, but despite his OSCAR-nominated role as black icon Ali, the actor insists he is not prepared to play Mandela on the big screen. The Independence Day (1996) star says, "The level of pressure and the strain it puts on your life and your family to portray an icon - it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. It's something you do once. "