Idris Elba

Idris Elba - Nelson Mandela

Golden Globe winner IDRIS ELBA (Nelson Mandela) captivated American audiences as the infamous Stringer Bell in HBO's critically acclaimed cult-hit series, The Wire. He continues to make his mark as one to watch in Hollywood, with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films and multiple television series.

Idris, the son of a Sierra Leonean father and Ghanaian mother, started his career in his native city of London, where he had a mainstay role on British television by his mid-twenties. He starred in some of the UK's top rated shows, including Dangerfield, Bramwell and Ultraviolet. In 2000, Ultraviolet was purchased by Fox in the United States, offering Idris a break into the American marketplace. After moving to New York, Idris received rave reviews for his portrayal of Achilles in Sir Peter Hall's off-Broadway production of one of Shakespeare's more complicated plays, Troilus and Cressida. Shortly thereafter he landed a part on the acclaimed television series Law & Order.

Around the same time, David Simon, creator of HBO's award winning series Oz, met with Idris causing him to land the role of Stringer Bell, the lieutenant of a Baltimore drug empire on The Wire. Idris' portrayal of the complex but deadly Bell is arguably one of the most compelling in TV history. As the show's notoriety flourished throughout the world, critics and audience members quickly began to appreciate Idris' talent. In 2005, he received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his work on The Wire.

Idris soon after landed his first leading role in the HBO Original Film, Sometimes in April, for which he received his second Image Award nomination, this time for Outstanding Actor in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special. A prolific run of leading roles followed in Tyler Perry's dramatic feature Daddy's Little Girls for which he received a BET nomination for Best Actor, the thriller The Reaping also starring Hilary Swank, and in the horror thriller 28 Weeks Later. In 2007, Idris starred in Ridley Scott's Golden Globe nominated American Gangster with an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Ruby Dee and Josh Brolin. The cast went on to receive a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.  That same year, he returned to London to film Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla alongside Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton and Tom Wilkinson. The film went straight to #1 in the UK box office in its first week of release.

Idris next starred opposite Beyonce Knowles in the crime thriller Obsessed, directed by Steve Shill. For his role, Idris received a BET Best Actor nomination, as well as a NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. The movie took in $28.5 million on its opening weekend, storming to # 1 in the box office and became the highest-grossing opening on record for the 'stalker thriller' genre movie.

In 2009, Idris showed off his comedic talent joining the cast of NBC's hit television show The Office as Michael Scott's less than amused boss Charles Minor. He later appeared as Laura Linney's love interest in the Showtime comedy The Big C, for which he earned a 2011 Emmy Nomination in the "Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series" category. The next projects that followed were The Losers, in which he shared the screen with Zoe Saldana, and box office hit Takers, alongside Matt Dillon, Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen, for which he received a 2011 NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. In May 2009, Idris moved to Glasgow to film Legacy, directed by Thomas Ikimi. Along with playing the part of a Black Operations operative, Idris debuted as Executive Producer of the film, which was selected to close The Glasgow Film Festival in February 2010.

The Tribeca Film Festival in April 2010 commended Legacy with great critical acclaim. Recent films include Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh and Ghost Rider with Nicolas Cage. In 2010, Idris landed the title role of John Luther in the BBC crime drama mini-series Luther, a complex Detective struggling with his own terrible demons. The six episodes were shown on BBC 1 in April 2010 and audiences and critics alike responded to Idris' portrayal of the tormented detective. His performance earned him a 2011 Emmy nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie" as well as a nomination at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards. He also went on to win an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special and the BET Award for "Best Actor." In 2012, following the airing of the second installment of Luther, Idris took home the Golden Globe award for "Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television." Idris' recent film, Pacific Rim, is directed by Guillermo del Toro, and he will soon be seen in Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor and Sam Miller's No Good Deed starring opposite Taraji P. Henson.

Naomie Harris

Naomie Harris - Winnie Mandela

As a critically acclaimed actress in film, television, and theatre, NAOMIE HARRIS (Winnie Mandela) is making a name for herself with each of her luminous performances. Harris stars in the James Bond installment Skyfall opposite Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes and Albert Finney. Sam Mendes directs the film released by Sony Pictures.

Harris recently starred at The National Theater in London in Danny Boyle's production of Frankenstein opposite Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch. In the Justin Chadwick-helmed The First Grader, Harris plays 'Jane,' a first grade teacher in Kenya who fights for the right of an 84 year-old man to be educated - even if it means learning in a classroom with six-year-olds. The film went on to garner a number of international Festival awards including the Audience Award at the Telluride Festival, and Doha Film Festival and was runner up at the Toronto Film Festival.

The London-born actress had her first major breakthrough performance in 2002 with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later and went on to receive further international recognition and critical acclaim for her role as 'Tia Dalma' in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Other major feature film credits include Michael Mann's Miami Vice, Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story; Street Kings; with Keanu Reeves and Forrest Whittaker; and Sex & Drugs & Rock and Roll with Andy Serkis.

On television, Harris starred in the BBC's Small Island and Blood and Oil, and in the UK's popular television adaptation of Zadie Smith's bestselling novel White Teeth, as well as the adaptation of the novel Poppy Shakespeare, and Peter Kosminsky's The Project.

Harris has won various awards, beginning in 2003 with Best Actress at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. In 2007, she won the Rising Star Tribute Award at the Bahamas International Film Festival as well as Best Actress at the Screen Nation Awards (which she won again in 2009). That same year, she was nominated for a BAFTA Orange Rising Star. More recently, she was awarded Best Actress at The Royal Television Society Awards in 2010.

Harris graduated with honours from Cambridge University with a degree in social and political science then trained at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Tony Kgoroge

Tony Kgoroge - Walter Sisulu

TONY KGOROGE (Walter Sisulu) is an accomplished, award-winning South African theatre, television, and film actor and in 1997 he received a Vita award for the best upcoming actor.

Tony has played lead roles in many top-rated South African television series including Isidingo; Deafening Silence; Dark Angels; Tarzan; Soul City; Gazlam; Homecoming, and Zero Tolerance. Tony's motion picture work includes Justin Chadwick's The First Grader, Clint Eastwood's Invictus in a main supporting role of Jason Tshabalala (Mandela’s bodyguard), Anthony Fabian's Skin, opposite Sophie Okonedo, Blood Diamond, directed by Edward Zwick for Warner Bros.; Lord of War, alongside Nicholas Cage, directed by Andrew Nichols, Terry George's Hotel Rwanda, alongside Don Cheadle and Sophie Okonedo, Hijack Stories, directed by Oliver Schmidt, and The Bird Can't Fly, directed by Dutch filmmaker, Threes Anna. Tony's vast body of Theatre work includes. Equus; Woza Albert; SeZar (in the lead role of Julius Caezar) at the Oxford Playhouse in the United Kingdom, Die Jogger; Fiddler On The Roof; Mooi Street Moves, and Joseph for P.A.C.T. As a graduate of the Pretoria Technikon, Tony received a Honourary award from the Pretoria University of Technology.

Riaad Moosa

Riaad Moosa - Ahmed Kathrada

As one of South Africa’s most popular and acclaimed comics, RIAAD MOOSA (Ahmed Kathrada), is a silver medallion graduate of the College of Magic in Cape Town. Starting his comedy career as a comedy magician, he was presented with the Comedy Magic Award at the Centre for the Magical Arts in Cape Town.

Riaad, who is also a qualified Medical Doctor, started doing standup comedy while still studying Medicine at the University of Cape Town Medical School. He was an instant hit, receiving rave reviews at his debut show. Riaad started performing stand-up at the Cape Comedy Collective's free Comedy Lab workshops, and just two months later he was the winner of the hotly contested One City, Many Comics Talent Competition held as part of the One City Festival in September 1999. Being one of the first members of the Cape Comedy Collective, Riaad became a regular headliner on the comedy circuit during his rookie year, where he was also invited to perform on Pieter Dirk Uys’ Evita Live and etv’s comedy show Dangerous.

Alongside comedians David Levinson and Paul Snodgrass, he performed to sold-out shows of his debut stand-up comedy theatre production The Paracomics at Artscape in Cape Town. Riaad’s humour is based on his experiences as a young Muslim relating to post-911 Islamaphobia growing up in Cape Town and general observational and opinion-based humour. Now, a regular headliner on comedy circuits all over South Africa, Riaad is also a sought-after act for bigger productions. He has starred in Alex Jay’s 5FM Comedy Jams and Real Concert’s Winston King Size Comedy shows, as well as headlining the Sprite Soul Comedy Jams in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

He supported Marc Curry of Hanging with Mr. Cooper fame, rocking the crowd at the Durban Playhouse in 2001. This was followed by his supporting Russell Peters in his show Made in India at the Luxurama Theatre where he received excellent reviews from his parents and critics alike. That same year Riaad was part of the largest stand-up show in the history of South African television Laugh out Loud, in which he joined nine of South Africa’s top comics to raise half a million Rand for the Reach for a Dream foundation.      

In 2003, Riaad performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, headlining in the Cape Comedy Collective - The new South Africa Stands Up production. The following year Riaad was a writer and performer for SABC 1’s Pure Monate Show, which achieved cult status amongst South Africa’s urban youth. Riaad also featured in the Crazy Monkey – Straight Outta Benoni movie – one of the highest grossing South African movies of 2005. In 2006 Riaad performed his first one-man show Strictly Halaal at the Nelson Mandela Civic Theatre. The run was sold out a week before it started and 5 extra shows were added over one weekend to meet the huge public demand. He continued the tour in Durban at the International Convention Centre, and then at the Cape Town International Convention Centre packing both houses to capacity and adding on extra shows. He later appeared alongside Marc Lottering and Nik Rabinowitz in the hit variety comedy show 3 Wise Men - directed by David Kramer.  Riaad performed his second theatre show For The Baracka hit, The Fringe at The Jo’burg Theatre (formerly the Civic Theatre) for record-breaking sold-out audiences.

South African Muslim comedian Halal Bilal was Riaad’s support act in Make Love Not War, along with the American Muslim comedy troupe, Allah Made Me Funny. Fans and new audiences alike just couldn’t get enough of the show, which led to Riaad Moosa for the Baracka being extended for a grand finale in the main Nelson Mandela Theatre at the Jo’burg Theatre. Riaad’s standout standup comedy skills were also recently included in the DVD for the successful Blacks Only comedy shows, and he also featured in the Anant Singh/John Vlismas produced comedy-collective feature film Outrageous, which was released on the nationwide South African theatrical circuit.

Along with SA’s top comedians - including Trevor Noah, David Kau, John Vlismas, Tumi Morake and Marc Lottering - Riaad was one of the headline acts supporting international superstar Eddie Izzard for the 46664 It’s No Joke concert in February 2010. This event raised funds for the ongoing work done by charities that fall under the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Riaad has since become a regular presenter of The Second Opinion – with Dr Riaad Moosa on the e-News channel’s satirical news Program Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola. In March 2011, Riaad was awarded the “Comics Choice Award” at the “First Annual South African Comic’s Choice Awards.”  On 17th Feb 2012, Material - the movie that “made Barry Ronge cry” - opened in South African cinemas nationwide to overwhelming critical acclaim.