"One day, after the shoot, we were driving home from the township, and there was an open space full of garbage on which a bunch of black kids were playing rugby," he says. "My host pointed them out and remarked that if Madiba had not pushed for the Springboks, or if they had not won the World Cup, those kids would not have been playing rugby. But there they were, barefoot, in cut-off jeans and torn T-shirts, and I said: 'We have to get a shot of this'."
So in the middle of a township, with no security detail beyond a couple of bodyguards, they unpacked their cameras and filmed the impromptu game and that footage became the closing credit sequence of the film.
It wasn't just a bit of atmospheric local colour. Eastwood, with his spontaneous, instinctive skill as a director, saw its value. It wasn't in the script and nobody had even thought of the idea, but Eastwood looked through the car window after a long day's shoot and knew exactly what to do with those images.
On Freeman playing Mandela
SHOOT: What a great project and wonderful that it is being handled by a group as talented as Eastwood, Freeman and Damon. Oscar alert!
Not only did he leave prison to become president, but he did not hold a great sense of bitterness towards the people who had imprisoned him.