Fox Searchlight has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for director Steve McQueen’s powerful adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography 12 Years a Slave, this time focusing on the film’s phenomenal ensemble cast.
Anchored by Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as Solomon Northup a free man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery for over a decade, the film boasts a wide range of character actors and A-list talent that includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfre Woodard, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, Adepero Oduye, Michael K. Williams, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam and Lupita Nyong’O (in her first role out of drama school).
This featurette provides a nice overview of the performances and interviews with some of the cast members speaking up on the difficult subject material covered in the film.
12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.