Exclusive 1:1 Interview with 12 Years a Slave stars Alfre Woodard and Lupita Nyong'o
12 YEARS A SLAVE is Steve McQueen's harrowing dramatization of Solomon Northup's experience going from a free man to slave in the blink of an eye. And though he's the center of this particular, unforgettable depiction of slavery in America, he's far from the only one who suffers cruelty and inhumanity of the time.
Lupita Nyong'o plays Patsy, one of the slaves Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofer) joins on the plantation of Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), and her performance will no doubt rank among the greatest big screen debuts of all time. (She's certain to be a mainstay on the awards circuit this winter.)
Meanwhile, Alfre Woodard plays Mistress Shaw, whose situation could not be more removed from Patsey's; as the wife of a wealthy plantation owner, Shaw befriends Patsey, offering a very faint ray of sunshine in an otherwise horrifically grim existence.
I sat down with both of these dynamic actresses to talk about the intensity of the film and the inevitable award circuit they'll be traveling soon.