The Real Story Of 'Invictus'

INSIDE EDITION spoke to the author of the book about the sporting event that changed Nelson Mandela's presidency.

Hollywood portrayed one of the great moments in Nelson Mandela’s extraordinary life in the film Invictus.

The 2009 Clint Eastwood movie starred Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as the captain of South Africa’s rugby team that unified a nation.

John Carlin wrote the book the movie Invictus is based on. He interviewed Mandela three times about the momentous rugby game when South Africa won the World Cup in 1995.

Carlin told INSIDE EDITION, “It was a great moment of national unity, national togetherness, which Mandela just magically brought about.”

South Africa was divided between blacks and whites and Mandela had been the democratically-elected president for just a year.

Watch More Of Carlin's Interview About Mandela

“He was really just quite brilliant in using the emotion of sports to reach people's hearts,” said Carlin.

Mandela decided to unite his country through rugby, a sport beloved by whites and despised by blacks who considered it a symbol of racist white rule.

When Mandela walked onto the field at the World Cup final to support the mostly white South African team, the entire nation went wild. When the South Africa team upset heavily-favored New Zealand, both whites and blacks were bonded together by joy.

“Ask any South African where they were on that day for that game and they will tell you. It is something that will not be forgotten,” said Carlin.

Morgan Freeman was hand-picked by Mandela to play him in Invictus and released a statement, calling him: "A hero to all who treasure liberty, freedom and the dignity of mankind."

And the moment he united a nation will never be forgotten.