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Washington’s homely dinner with power players

The double Oscar winner has carved out an impressive career in Hollywood, and has made some pals in high places along the way.

But even he was surprised to be asked by South Africa’s beloved former leader to host a dinner party in his honour – and quickly got on the phone to invite TV titan Winfrey to make up the numbers.

He tells Britain’s Mail on Sunday, “When Mr. Mandela came to California he said, ‘I want to come to your house and eat with you.’ So my wife made some chicken and we invited friends like Oprah Winfrey over.”

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And he admits he came to see Mandela as part of his family, and revelled in the 90 year old’s reams of stories.

Washington adds, “He’s like the grandfather I never had – sitting in the living room telling stories. My children invited their close friends to meet him so they got to talk with him and take pictures. He’s so normal and wanted to be treated that way, and he was – apart from the helicopters flying around outside and the security everywhere.”

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