Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’

I really never think about TIFF being one of those film festivals where the prizes matter at all. It’s not like Cannes, where the winner of the Palme d’Or is big news, or even Sundance, where the winners will go on to use their awards and critical buzz throughout the rest of the promotion. So I was pleasantly surprised to learn that 12 Years a Slave took home the big prize at TIFF – they won the Blackberry People’s Choice. Which means that out of all of the buzzed-about films at TIFF this year, 12 Years is the big winner and has now been declared “the one to beat” for the awards season.

All of that means MORE FASSBENDER. Yay! And more Lupita Nyong’o. And probably more Brad Pitt too. But I’m especially looking forward to more Fassy, of course. He has a new interview with Digital Journal, which you can read here. Some highlights:

His character isn’t a two-dimensional villain: “It’s important to look at him as a person. I had to find that human being in there and not just play him as the evil slave owner.” He says, “A lot of people are likely to say ‘oh my God Epps is so evil’ and I don’t understand that. He’s a human being who’s caught up in something so complicated and so unjust, but definitely not evil – I don’t even understand that word.”

His slave-owner quotes the Bible: “Epps is not the sharpest tool in the box. He doesn’t understand the Bible, I think it’s just his way of keeping everyone suppressed and controlled.” He shrugs and continues, “Besides, how many people are holding the Bible in one hand and trying to launch missiles with the other? Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes.”

Research: “First of all I had to try and find a voice so I worked with tapes and a dialect coach and tried on various accents.” He reveals. “I also went to Louisiana for about 6 weeks before we started filming to try and soak up the atmosphere there and then it’s just about working with the script. I read the book of course, but then just spent time with the script.”

Wanting a re-do: “The worst feeling for an actor,” he continues, “is to finish a day’s work and get halfway home and think, ‘Sh-t! That’s the way I should have done that!’ and that does happen anyway, but to minimize that feeling, you really put everything into it so that it’s all left on the floor. It’s all there, you left it behind and then you can go home and relax. You exorcise the demons on set that day.”

The cast was close: “I don’t think (the film) would have been possible without the real sense of love and connection on set. We were all linked to one another and without one another we wouldn’t have gone to the places that we did. It was total dependence really.”

[From Digital Journal]

I’ve heard some of you (traitors!) complain about Fassbender’s accent work in previous films, but after seeing the assorted trailers from 12 Years, I’m not worried about it. I think he worked hard at doing some kind of Southern accent and I will find it acceptable. What worries me is his accent work in The Counselor – from the trailers I’ve seen, his accent in that movie seems super-wonky.

Here are some photos from the 12 Years press conference at the Conrad Hotel in NYC. I don’t know why these photos are so budget. It’s disappointing.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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82 Responses to “Michael Fassbender on slavery: ‘Religion and pain go hand in hand sometimes’”

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  1. starrywonder says:

    Yum. Also I cannot wait to see this movie!

  2. TheOriginalKitten says:

    The man knows how to wear a suit. Sexy as hell.

    Also, I feel strange saying that I’m “looking forward” to seeing this movie, given the painful subject matter.

  3. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Why can’t we see big budget movies featuring black Americans that are not about the horrific scourge of slavery?

    Well, Good Luck with your movie Fassy!

    • Yep says:

      As much as I want to see it, I agree.

      It’s why I plan on watching Paula Patton’s new movie even if I hate romcoms…

    • Bijlee says:

      Yeah, but it seems like that’s getting “a little” better. Viola Davis is in Enders game, Paula Patton Mission impossible, idris Elba in pacific rim, and Denzel Washington in damn near everything. Needs to be much better though! Not disagreeing with you.

      Fassys accent work sucks. I doubt it’s much better in TYAS. everybody has acknowledged that the dude is just TERRIBLE at accents, but we will see.

    • Sara says:

      I think the industry has regressed. Remember Set It Off or Bomerang or any number of Eddie Murphy family films? Non-slavery based black films were attracting cash. And then…………

      And I am side eyeing Fassy trying to humanise a cruel slave owner. “Oh it was a different time, thats why I enjoyed beating the crap out of beings who were clearly capable of pain”. Please, there are things that cant be resigned to ‘it was a different time’. Evil does exist, and I for one like to call it by its rightful name.

      • Side-Eye says:

        I think you should watch his Jake Hamilton interview–he’s not trying to justify his character, just explain him. As many acries do.

    • Liv says:

      Isn’t it the second big slavery film after Django? While I get your complaint I’m happy they finally pick up the topic in film since I know so less about it!

    • Kim1 says:

      Im Confused besides Django what big budget film has been made about slavery? 12 Years budget is $20 M .There are many $20M films featuring Black Américans.Lastly I keep hearing about all these films about Slavery.Yet before Django the last major film about slavery was Amistad in 97.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        OK, Kim1, allow me to clarify.

        Starting with ‘Birth of a Nation’ and Stepin Fetchit, big budget films like ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ ‘The Help’, ‘Precious’, ‘The Blind Side’, and ‘The Butler’, equate blackness almost exclusively with poverty and deprivation. Depicting an entire race of people in nearly the sole context of the civil rights struggle, servitude, and slavery, for the entertainment of another race of people is not a good thing. Always revisiting the historical black experience strips us of movies about positive, everyday contemporary black experience, and I’m saying I’d like to see films with rounded characterizations of black Americans. It would make a nice change.

      • LAK says:

        Kim1: There is a 3rd big film coming out early next year on slavery called BELLE. It’s inspired by the true story of a mixed race lady who helped start the movement to abolish slavery. Lead actress is Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

      • Kim1 says:

        OK thanks for clarification , your comment only mentioned slavery

      • bk says:

        Well said, Sloane Wyatt. The same is a problem in children’s literature, and for that matter, those who we celebrate during Black History Month. Not that Malcolm X, or Martin Luter King, Jr., aren’t important. Or that stories of children reacting to civil rights discrepancies aren’t essential to our understanding of this piece of history. BUT. There have been so many incredible people on one hand, who weren’t framed only in their reaction to the white narrative, who produced newspapers, created settlements, made lots of money, against these odds, but with other motivations as well. They do not get enough recognition. More locally, black people, just like anyone, live rich lives that don’t continually revolve around that same struggle narrative. It might be a part of it, but there’s just so much more to life, whatever your complexion.

    • A says:

      I think we have to realize that the movie industry in America, at least in Hollywood, is not for black people. Or other none white people.
      It’s not about money. If it were about money they would represent people from all “races” and ethnicities more and put them in more positive roles. They could make a lot of money in doing so.
      Think how much money they would make in Asia, South America, Africa etc.
      It’s about power and keeping the status quo and it is most definitely about white supremacy and keeping the power within.
      Have you seen the way they portray some minorities? Almost all are negative, mockery, and offensive. But I guess you have to put someone down in order to lift yourself up. You have to have a negative to portray you as the positive.
      You’ll have a few Kerry Washington’s, Denzel Washington’s and Lucy Lue’s but they are most definitely a minority and nothing more than a blip on the map. I say that because everytime you say the above someone always mention the token few minority actors in Hollywood, as if they work constantly and as if they are even close to being a majority. And as if that work is of quality. It’s laughable really but yeah, it is what it is right? Right.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        You are correct, A. Hollywood is a propaganda machine that is selling whiteness over the experiences of POC. It’s crappy.

        Our Corporate Masters, firmly in positions of power, are willing to exploit any means necessary to retain their wealth, power and control.

      • Judysee says:

        Idgi, what’s the problem? It comes back to the narrative. I don’t think it’s as compelling to see someone from money making more of it. There has to be odds to surmount, something to fight against. Unless its a romance. Denzel has made action movies wherein the lead could have been played by a white guy. I am looking forward to this one. Django, for me, was long and tedious and somewhat smug. I agree with the historical perspective that you put forth about old Hollywood and it’s portrayal of Blacks, but I think improvements have been made and should be acknowledged. But should we throw out the baby with the bath water? Like it or not, the slave narrative is compelling and whenever I think about what our ancestors had to endure, it makes me so ashamed that I bellyache over trivial $t

      • Sloane Wyatt says:


        The problem is that Hollywood doesn’t produce a lot of movies with minority leads to begin with, and you can forget about seeing any black characters at all in fantasy movies like ‘Lord of the Rings’. When I do get to see black actors and their stories being told, I’m really sick and tired of Hollywood’s fixed narrative of the “Ghetto” story, the “sports story”, the “slavery” story, and the “racism” story. This continuing black stereotype of thugs, drug users, alcoholics, domestic workers, Magical Negroes, or even token Best Friends in the movies illustrates a real lack of imagination at the very least, and worse, it doesn’t allow for great stories that happen to be about POC to take place.

        Movies like ‘Eve’s Bayou’, ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’, ‘Something Different’, ‘The Best Man’, and ‘School Daze’, are so tonally different than the movies that usually get made and happen to be really entertaining as well. Give me some great stories that advance the narrative and allow us to throw off the ‘bowing’ yoke that racism shrouds us in.

      • Jennipurrr says:

        I think tv is a far worse offender, for the most part. They are trying to sell some pretty bogus sh!t. Dumpy, bungling guy meets ridiculously hot woman who loves him no matter what and then there is generally the black friend who is a total joke and torn apart for the sake of “laughs.” I stopped watching Mike and Molly for this reason. Progressive, my ass.

        I get what’s happening with movies, to an extent. I agree that anything contemporary or futuristic should have a highly mixed-race cast. Unfortunately, historical dramas (h-wood’s bread and butter) do not leave much room for this. These movies are important. I am heartened by seeing movies about slavery. People are being forced to see the ugly and embarrassing parts of our human history and I believe movies like this can trigger a shame that will affect future actions in real life.

        The reality is that until very recently, segregation on some level has been commonplace and we’re just starting to blend more in everyday life. The challenge becomes developing more movies that do have interchangeable roles, where race doesn’t matter at all. Romcoms and action movies fit that bill. Thrillers, etc. People are crazed for movies with a historical edge, it would be just weird to cast that without considering race… Though interesting. Gwynevere in Merlin (Brit tv show) always blew my mind a little, in a good way. It wasn’t historically accurate in a visual sense, but it sure made me think about my preconceptions.

    • Cameron says:

      This isn’t a big budget movie. I read it cost $22 million to produce and they filmed it in 10 days. I just happy they allowed a Black Director to make the film and not Steven Speilberg. Also, there’s hasn’t been many films about
      Slavery. All I can recall is Armistead.
      Regarding TIFF, I’ve read where this film festival has correctly awarded films that have gone on to win an Oscar.


      • Elodie says:

        The film took 7 weeks to shoot though.

        Anyway I agree that even though I wish there were more modern films about Black actors and even other minorities, Latinos, Asian etc. It’s true that slavery has not been treated as much as holocaust and WWII heroes…

    • bns says:

      Yep. Or without it being Madea’s (fill in the blank).

  4. Miss M says:

    He looks so much better with long hair + beard. Oh, his accent in “The Counselor” is painful…

  5. AlmondJoy says:

    This is the first set of pics I’ve seen where I find him attractive! Idk what it is… he’s cute but I just don’t get the obsession. Maybe it’s his lack of lips? Lips are my favorite feature on a man and I can’t seem to locate his :-/

  6. Toot says:

    The best Michael has looked in awhile, but yeah these pics look like I took them on a camera phone. lol

    As for slavery and religion, it’s one of the reasons I don’t believe in any religion. To much has happened in the name of religion.

    • Leila in Wunderland says:

      Agreed. I’m not saying that all religion is bad, but there’s no denying that there is a lot of sexism and homophobia in religion, not to mention glorification of violence. And many parents force/coerce their religious beliefs on their teen and young adult children.

      If a person feels that marriage and sex are only for a man and woman, that a person is to wait until marriage to have sex, and that women should dress modesty, then fine, be heterosexual, wait until marriage, and dress modestly. But just don’t force any of the dogma on others. And religion should be a matter of choice for all people; it shouldn’t be used as a weapon or a bribe against young adults: If you want to live here, and if you want the family’s support, you have to go to church and follow our religion. People should also not teach their children to put themselves above people who don’t follow their religion. As for the whole ‘man-as-head-of-woman’ doctrine, I think the past thousands and thousands of years of misogyny in all its forms shows us where that doctrine leads the human race.

      And it’s astounding to me how any person can be racist while simultaneously claiming to be part of any religion that’s about love. Again, I know that religion is not the cause of racism, that not all or even the majority of religious people are racist, and that there are lots of racist atheists and agnostics out there, but there are also a lot of so-called religious people in this country- including public figures- who also spout racist ideas. It’s hypocritical.

      Rant over.

  7. Renee says:

    Look. I am not trying to conflate the Holocaust with the Transatlantic Slave Trade AND I know that he is not his character but trying to find sympathy with slave owners is like trying to find sympathy with Adolf Hitler or buying other Nazi officers’ excuses that they were “just following orders”. Your character wasn’t likeable, slavery was/is abhorent and there is no reason for you to try to justify his actions. This sort of reminds me of when Laurence Fishburne played Ike Turner and kept trying to paint a more sympathetic portrayal of his character and bell hooks called him out in an essay and was like, um, the person you were portraying was an abusive jerk and you shouldn’t really be talking about him in a way that minimizes and dismisses the level of abuse that he directed towards Tina Turner. I am disappointed by Fassbender, especially since I wanted to see this film.

    • Naye in VA says:

      ITTA. I feel like the word evil may be excessive as well, but please do not try to elicit sympathy for people like this. One does not simply “misunderstand the Bible” It’s a choice to use the Bible to do harm against others. It’s a choice to use religion, or money, or status, or race, or anything against another person. Sympathizing with such people is beyond my capacity.

      • Bijlee says:

        “it’s a choice to use religion, money, status, or race or anything against another person.”

        YES! THANK YOU! It is! People need to learn to start taking responsibility for the choices and actions they make instead of just handing it off to god or whatever stupid justification. Personal responsibility you douchebags.

    • Bijlee says:

      Well I feel like those two eras in history can be compared to one another and equivalences can be drawn. Would people be offended by this? And yeah it’s slightly disturbing that he wants a little sympathy for his character. I hope thats not insight to him as a person.

    • Sixer says:

      I hear you. Every time I read an interview with Fassy about this, I cringe a little. I don’t think he is doing a good job of explaining (that he is explaining) an actor’s process. Especially to an American audience (this debate isn’t quite as inflamed my side of the pond – you need to talk about class for that).

      The thing is, hateful people don’t see themselves as hateful. People born into a particular society can’t always see it as it is.

      Either you never portray these people on screen/have two-dimensional, unsatisfactory performances that tell nobody anything, OR you concede that an actor will need to suspend some objective moral judgement and get inside the skin of objectionable people in order to produce a worthwhile performance that tells the story properly.

      Fassbender isn’t apologising for the guy he plays: at least I don’t read it this way.

      I think the question above is more apropos – why is the story being told always one of slavery/poverty/degradation. Where are the myriad other stories about black Americans in big budget films?

      • CaribbeanLaura says:

        I read the comments and sometimes feel afraid to comment because even though I am a woman of colour I still am afraid that What I say may be misconstrued, that being said I agree a lot with your comment sixer. He is playing a complex character and I believe that he’s saying that Epps didn’t see himself as evil. That evil is too simple a term to sum up what the character was. It’s like Alfre Woodard said in a press conference, it’s easy to look back and say if I were there I would have done XYZ, but no one can really say that can they, because if we were born in that time we would be a product of our surroundings and while there are people who shrug social norms they are few and far between. I don’t think that he needs to apologise in my opinion, he’s playing a terrible character as his job. He is not that character. That being said I really wish I could here more from Lupita, in the press conference I watched she was only asked one question and it was about her Mexican heritage. She answered it beautifully of course, because in my eyes she can do no wrong, but jeez people More Lupita.

    • Maria says:

      I won’t disagree with you in terms of finding a slave owner’s humanity.

      I do think it was important to him to portray this character a humane vs a caricature: these figures has families/friends whom they loved/respected.

      It’s what makes their behavior atrocious, because there are glimpses of compassion, to other whites.

      I didn’t see him as saying Epps was good, just that he believed he was good. How can you give a character layers if you see them from just one perspective?

      I like to write: my characters are flawed and often their worst enemies, I HAVE to find a balance in order for them to be relatable (to a degree).

      For an actor, it’s different. They’re job is to understand whom they’re playing, not justify their actions-especially when there’s no justification.

      I’m looking forward to this film but I know I’ll loathe Michael’s character (we all will).

      /can’t wait for more Chiwetel recognition

    • fingerbinger says:

      @Renee Fassy is just trying to humanize the character. Many actors,directors,writers,etc try to find redeeming qualities in characters that really have none. The best example would be when Sean Penn’s potrayal of Matthew Poncelet in Dead Man Walking. Poncelet was a rapist and murderer,but at the end of the film there was almost a feeling of pity for him. Penn managed to humanizea horrible person that you should have felt nothing for.

      • Tig says:

        Christoph Waltz also had a similar interview about playing the villain in “Water for Elephants”- his character was violent and abusive to both people and animals- but he also touched on the same themes- that you don’t want to play a stick figure. Obviously, Fassy is playing a historical figure, but I think that’s the point he’s making.

    • jaye says:

      I don’t think he’s asking US to embrace this character in a warm hug and say “there, there…poor baby…you’re just a victim of your circumstance” I think he’s telling us that in order to PLAY the character, he had to find something human in him to make the character 3 dimensional instead of some mustache twirling cartoon villain. I think any actor worth his or her salt would do the same.

  8. antisocial says:

    Loved Chiwetel in Serenity, so happy and excited to see him in this!!!!

  9. Andrea1 says:

    I am So happy for the buzz TYAS is getting and I hope they get recognition from the Academy too!

  10. Karen says:

    I’m laughing at the comment that says he’s becoming the most influential actor of his generation….I’m 75% sure he won’t be A-List 5 years from now, A-List in the days of Tom, Julia, Brad, George, Will, Johnny, etc.

    • Tish says:

      TBH, I don’t think we will have those kinds of movie stars anymore.

      • A says:

        Yeah those days are pretty much over which is probably a good thing.

      • CaribbeanLaura says:

        And do we even WANT those actors anymore? As far as I’m concerned they can do away with the A-list in favour of actors who give brilliant nuanced performances.

    • Elodie says:

      Right? I mean McQueen we get it, Fassbender is your muse and you are a very good team, but guuuuuuuuurrrrrl STOP!

      Is Fassbender pioneering some new style of acting? Has Fassbender ushered in some new wave that is distinguishable from the preceding ones? ummm…..

      Genuinely influential actors are actually pretty few and far between. You can make an argument for how people like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino etc. were highly influential actors, in addition to being talented actors. Fassbender’s definitely talented, but he’s not “influential”, now Steve guuurrrrl come the F on! 😀

      • Kas says:

        He’s not influential to you, perhaps. But If you ask most actors out there, they’d agree with McQueen. Fassbender’s skill is highly respected and coveted in the industry. And many people felt the same way of the actors you mentioned as you do about Fassbender once they came on the scene. McQueen is only saying now what everyone outside the industry will be saying in a few years.

      • Elodie says:

        @ Kas well there is a difference between being influential and being respected and highly coveted by the peers. And no, not most people felt the same because when Brando burst onto the scene, he’s the only actor who set the bar “Before/After Brando” era so… and most directors feared Brando temper and crazy ways but they didn’t even need to say he was influential…because he simply was. Bazillion of actors get their influence from him and other greats, like directors also, Kubrick for example… so otherwise I woudn’t have picked those choices. Again being influential is a premature thing to say, because so far Fassbender may play intense characters and definitely excels at it, but he didn’t create a genre thus influenced people, he may be McQueen muse and inspire him in his creativity and all… Fave actor? Yes to many. But most influential? Nope.

  11. Shazbot says:

    TIFF has been awesome at picking Oscar movies for awhile now…Slumdog Millionaire anyone?? Don’t discount it’s winners!!

    • MegG says:

      Whenever I hear about this movie I can’t help but think of Django Unchained, which came out earlier in the year.

    • MegG says:

      Whenever I hear about this movie I can’t help but think of Django Unchained. Wonder how it will compare.

      • Toot says:

        It should be compared to Django as much as Inglorious Basterds can be compared to Schindler’s List.

        12 years is the actual true story of Soloman and Schindler actually existed also. The other two were made up stories by Tarintino.

      • Maria says:

        They won’t.

        Django was a western/slave caricature flick with minimal historical accuracy.

        12YAS actually happened.

        The biggest difference I think will be how the story is told and the seriousness that unfolds in a McQueen film. You walk away from a Quinton film entertained and/or disgusted, a McQueen film will haunt your soul and elicit genuine conversation about the brutality of slavery and the justifications made by the people of that time.

        ot: McQueen wants to do a musical, I’m SO excited about this.

      • CaribbeanLaura says:

        ^^^ IKR I would pay good money to see a Steve Mc Queen Musical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Kas says:

        Why, though? I can’t for the life of me see the comparison. All movies about slaves have to be the same? All slaves were not the same. They were individuals with individual lives and individual stories. 12 Yrs is a serious, true story about the heinous, unforgivable institution of slavery. There is no comparing Django to this movie.

  12. Harpreet says:

    Kaiser, as a proud Torontonian, I can definitely say that TIFF matters.

    It is the official kick-off to OScar season.

    Also, a lot of TIFF awarded films go onto win the Best Film Oscar, such as Slumdog Millionaire, Silver Linings Playbook, etc.

    • LAK says:

      I’ll add my BFF’s film TSOTSI to the list of films that had lift off at TIFF. It went on to receive best foreign film Oscar 2005.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Who is your BFF, LAK?

      • LAK says:

        VC: my 2 BFFs have won Oscars in the last 10yrs. Best film ie Producing. I feel so unaccomplished in comparison, but one day, I’ll get there too. For TSOTSI, Peter. And for THE KINGS SPEECH, Iain.

        It feels wierd to write their names on a gossip site even though they are in the public arena now. So I’ll give you first names, and ask that you google the films and look at the crew list under producers.

      • CaribbeanLaura says:

        Gah!!! ur life seems amazing!!! And just to be clear producers finance movies correct?

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        Are you trying to make it big in the film business? Or just hoping you’ll be as successful in your chosen field (which I hope is snarking on Duchess Waity and telling it like it is about Diana–I’d pay for that, you should write a book, hell I could probably write a book on AJ/BP–I am actually considering it–on a fanfic site)?

      • LAK says:

        Carribean Laura: Producers pull a film together from genesis to market. That’s the easiest job description I can give you. You do have producers that specialise in one aspect of the film process eg money or the actual shoot, selling etc but you need 1 or 2 people responsible for the whole.

        VC: I am trying to make it in the film industry, but I decided to wade in rather late in life.

        On the side I am writing a book on royals, but more social history ie how Royals influence society. That’s where my snark on WK comes from, seeing their influence.

  13. Nessa says:

    That first picture is ridiculously hot. UNF

    • MegG says:

      Sorry didn’t know this was based on. a true story. Would be glad to see Michael and McQueen together again.

  14. T.C. says:

    I will have to see the movie to say if the slave owner Fassy playing deserves my sympathy. Like would I have sympathy for a nazi heading up a concentration camp.

    • LAK says:

      It depends. How do you feel about Ralph Fiennes portrayal of a Nazi officer in SHINDLER’S LIST?

      • T.C. says:

        Did not feel any sympathy for Fiennes.

      • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

        I did. Because I think too often we just want to demonize people who do things that we perceive take the people who are for and against abortion (and I see both sides because I am around people who believe on both sides).

        People bash each other, make it seem like they are either idiots who don’t take responsibilities in their lives (against abortions), who get them because they’re irresponsible OR the pro choicers say that they’re just religious whack jobs who believe anything their Book tells them.
        A lot of people on both sides don’t take time to learn and try and understand why some people believe the way they do. We all tend to demonize the other side, and forget that we are all human and we all feel.

        The holocaust was one of those things that made people make hard decisions–which I’m sure was made easier due to the climate and treatment of the Jews for centuries.

  15. Lucrezia says:

    If you read the book, Solomon’s take is very clear: cruelty is the fault of the system and culture, not individual evil.

    This is especially obvious when he talks about Epps’ young son who is being taught to be indifferent to the sufferings of black slaves.

    Fassy isn’t offering any excuse or justification that Solomon himself didn’t already bring up. If you think think Epps is randomly evil – for no reason – you’re missing a vital part of Solomon’s message: just about anyone can/will act evil if they’re stuck in an evil situation.

    • Side-Eye says:


    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      See, I don’t get why people are trying to say he’s making excuses for the character. He’s not. He;s trying to humanize him, to make you see something of yourself in Epps.

      Going back to his relationship with Patsey and us today–the entire southern culture was that it was normal to rape slave women, in fact it was encouraged to get it out of your system and then marry a nice white woman. And if you wanted some on the side with your slave women, well that was your business, as the master. How would we react, if we lived in that kind of culture?

      How would we react if anytime the word “abolitionist” was said, it was with disgust and followed with how that person was going to hell. Or what about interracial marriage? I’m sure that was preached against too–there actually was some interracial marriages, it wasn’t against the law up until the 20’s I believe. Frederick Douglas married a white woman.

      I can definitely see myself in that period, and being someone who just stood by the wayside and did nothing. Whether I would’ve been a slave–I’d be one of those wimps who wouldn’t dare set a foot outside of the plantation unless dragged kicking and screaming (despite the fact that I can “pass” for white), or I’d be like BC’s character I think.

      It’s hard to say how we would be in times like that.

  16. Anna says:

    He looks like Henry Cavill in the last few pics

  17. LilyRose says:

    It also means MORE Chiwetel! He’s the lead, and I love Fassy but come on. More Chiwetel, please. And thank you.

    • Elodie says:

      Yes please 😀

    • Elodie says:

      Girl trust me if you go on other websites/blogs it’s more than worse, some even write a title like “Fassbender and his co-stars” or during the red carpet they focus on Fassbender and thank god McQueen is the director so they must take pics of him protocol wise… like the media are so pissed that Chiwetel got sole billing on the TYAS poster and being the central character or something… Okay LOL!

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      I can’t decide if it’s because the slavery aspect of the film/subtle ignorance/racism is the issue, or if it’s just because Fassy is a lot more popular and prominent than his other cast members–besides Brad.

      On one hand, I get that a lot of people don’t know who Chiwetel is–I only know because I saw Love Actually (and googled him obsessively afterwards)….but the media should be correcting that. I’m guessing they’re putting Michael’s name first because they know that a lot of people will click on the article if they have his name in the heading, instead of Chiwetel’s…which is kinda shitty, imo.

  18. CaribbeanLaura says:

    And just to give props to my girl Lupita, Killing it and looking Gorgeous!!! Seriously can’t wait to see this woman on all those award red carpets. I really wish that people would talk about her more and give her more interviews. I think I’ll start a petition!

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      You should–I read on IMDB that Lupita’s role was substantial in the last 2/3rds of the movie, PLUS she has a major plot line in the film, so why wouldn’t they ask her and Le Fassdong’s questions together?

      I would LOVE to hear her insight into the character, how her character had to deal with that kind of attention and abuse daily. I mean, I can’t imagine getting up every morning and just WAITING to have something happen to me. And know that eventually, it’s going to happen and I can’t stop it.

      And I love her name–Lupita. See I’ve already made up a list of names, so that my kids (if I ever have any biological ones anyway) will have cool names–I already snagged AJ’s mom’s name (Marcheline–I think that’s a really pretty and unique name).

  19. I Choose Me says:

    Fassbender looks good but add me to the more Chiwetel please chorus. And Lupita and Alfre Woodard. ‘Cause I love her too.

  20. lisa2 says:

    This is what happened when The Color Purple came out. The Black community distanced itself from the film Upset with how the characters were portrayed. Groups called for boycotts and such. Then Hollywood stop making Black films for years.

    I don’t know the answer. It looks and sounds like a hard and beautiful story. It is about choices. I would rather see this than another Madea film. History is tough to see. Especially when it is real and raw.

    Again I don’t know or have the answer.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      Lord, yes. I have the blueray version of The Color Purple, and it has extras on it and such. I think it was either Oprah or Whoopi who said it, but she said that the protesting and criticism set black films back about twenty years. Because after that, no one wanted to touch a “black” film after that–because of the hate and backlash.

      On that note, I am so proud and disbelieving that Steven Spielberg directed that film. I practically grew up on it, and had never even noticed his name in the credits–THAT’S why he wins for my nerd/director crush. I don’t know, I like dorks like him.

      But I am with you on the Madea films–my mom who is a fan, simply because it’s/was funny (I thought they were funny in the beginning–when there weren’t a million versions of ‘Madea….’) and because there were black people in the films and plays. Now, she’ll still watch them, for the latter reason I put up, but she was pissed about ‘Madea’s Witness Protection Program’….but where I live, they show absolutely NO good movies at all.

      If it isn’t a big blockbuster–like Twilight, Ironman, or some stupid romantic comedy or low budget action flick, they don’t show it. They didn’t even show The Help up here….we have to wait until we can either buy/rent any other film–they don’t even show Tyler Perry’s movies where I am.

      Which is why I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to wait until the movie comes out on dvd or drive two hours to go see 12 Years A Slave, because our movie theater just doesn’t show movies like that up here…they didn’t even show ‘Lincoln’-I was pissed about that too.

  21. Anna Scott says:

    Awwww!! Fassbender is so hot!!