Playing Nelson Mandela in the biopic Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Idris Elba has already been tipped as a possible Oscar contender.
"I haven't actually spoken about Mandela much, but it was six months of my life that was amazing," he said, adding that it was "emotional" even before the African leader's death last week.
The movie spans Mandela's entire life, so Elba ages throughout it.
Filming took place in Cape Town and on Robben Island, where the 94-year-old former South African president was incarcerated for 27 years.
"He's got an iconic voice, so that was the hardest thing for me to achieve... you can tell when it's not right.
"I'm sure you'll be able to hear my East London slipping in," says Elba.