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Denzel Washington ponders Mandela role

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Denzel Washington

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Denzel Washington has revealed that he is considering playing Nelson Mandela in a biopic of the former South African president.

Speaking to Empire, the Oscar-winner admitted that he is wary of taking on the movie - which follows Mandela's 27-year incarceration at Robben Island - having portrayed so many real-life figures in the past.

He said: "A friend of mine is trying to get me to do a film about Mandela, and it's a good script. But I'm like, 'Not right now. Maybe down the line.'

"It starts just before he went to jail, when he was around 38, to when he was released. How old's he now? 91, nearly 92 (he's 92). So yeah, it would be from his late thirties to around 70. I could do that - with make-up. We'll see."

Morgan Freeman took on the role of Mandela in Clint Eastwood's Invictus, while Terrence Howard will play him in next year's Winnie.

Washington, who has starred in Steve Biko, Malcolm X and Rubin Carter biopics in the past, confessed that he once turned down the opportunity to play civil rights leader Martin Luther King.

"I can't be Malcolm X and Martin Luther King," he said. "I just didn't want to do it, maybe because of the stigma, 'Oh, there goes Mr. Biography.' And I didn't have the energy for it."

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