Renowned actor Morgan Freeman graced DC last evening for a screening of “Invictus,” which hits theaters December 11th. Directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Matt Damon, it’s the story of South African President Nelson Mandela’s campaign to host the 1995 Rugby World Cup event in his first term.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews hosted a Q&A with Freeman at National Geographic after the screening, which received a standing ovation from a nearly full theater that included the likes of Fox News’ Chris Wallace, CNN’s David Bohrman, Kevin Madden and President Obama’s right-hand man Reggie Love.
“You can’t tell Mandela’s whole story in a movie,” Freeman said of the rugby storyline he convinced Eastwood to direct. Matthews first opened questions to South Africans in the audience– “you portray Mr. Mandela very well” and “the movie was emotional,” women at the screening said to Freeman.
The “Invictus” star admits he has yet to see the film, though he will when it premieres. “I’m terrified… I’d much rather believe you when you say it’s good,” he said.
As for who should play Obama in a movie, Freeman definitively says “Denzel,” as in actor Denzel Washington.
Also in attendance: USA Today‘s Susan Page, MSNBC’s David Shuster, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Rick Klein and David Chalian, WaPo‘s Jonathan Capehart, CNN’s Gloria Borger, Paul Begala, Sam Feist and Peter Hamby, Politico‘s Mike Allen, Jonathan Martin, Ken Vogel and Kiki Ryan, CongressDaily‘s Erin McPike, Time‘s Jay Newton Small, Roll Call‘s Shira Toeplitz, CBS’ Laura Strickler, Matthew Cooper, Karen Finney, Lee Brenner, Mark Adelman, Mark Paustenbach, Taylor Griffin and Michael Feldman, among others.
Warner Bros. and Mandela Day hosted the screening.