Chiwetel Ejiofor, '12 Years a Slave' Star, Defends Film's Violence

Image: Chiwetel Ejiofor, '12 Years a Slave' Star, Defends Film's Violence

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 03:36 PM

By Michael Mullins

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Chiwetel Ejiofor, the British actor who has the lead role in the upcoming film "12 Years a Slave," defended the movie's violent scenes during its recent premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.

"It's a strange handicap if you can't talk about violence in a film about slavery. You are not going to do justice to any of the people involved," Ejiofor told reporters at a press conference on Friday, the BBC reported.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

"I read into the script that there were obviously going to be these struggles and I wanted to embrace that," Ejiofor added. "As an actor you have to slip down the rabbit hole and see what happens because there was no other way of telling the story."

The movie is based on the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was sold into slavery in 1941 after being kidnapped.

"I felt a sort of responsibility of telling the story of which I had never seen in cinema," Ejiofor, 36, told a BBC reporter on the red carpet outside the BFI premiere. "I just had to try and tell Solomon Northup's story, this incredible man, and not really worry about the other things and try and get as close as I could and somehow in that maybe the rest would be told." 

The film's director Steve McQueen joined Ejiofor on Friday at the event.

"The book is pretty extreme. My responsibility is this: Either I'm making a film about slavery or I'm not," McQueen told reporters. "If you make a film about slavery you have to understand why people were in bondage in this way for 400 years, through mental and physical torture."

McQueen's other films include "Hunger," about the Irish hunger strike, and "Shame," about sexual addiction in New York City.

"12 Years a Slave" was first screened at Colorado's Telluride Film Festival in late August, where it received rave reviews, the BBC noted. It won the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice award in September.

The cast also includes Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Brad Pitt. It is considered a likely Oscar favorite, USA Today reported.

Currently playing in theaters across the U.S., "12 Years a Slave" is scheduled to premiere in Britain in January.

Editor's Note: Do You Support Obamacare? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Related stories:

Ben Carson: Obamacare Worst Thing Since Slavery

Paula Deen Racist? Food Network Star Used Slur; Reportedly Wanted 'Slave' Wedding

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Tapeworm in Brain of Man for 4 Years Removed by Surgeons

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:33 PM

A tapeworm that not only lived in a man's brain for four years but traveled from one side of the brain to the other has  . . .

Window Washer's 11-Story Fall Ends Atop Car - He Survived!

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 17:14 PM

A window washer survived with critical injuries after falling 11 stories from the roof of a San Francisco bank building  . . .

Georgia O'Keefe $44 Million Painting Most for Woman Artist

Saturday, 22 Nov 2014 16:49 PM

A new world auction record for women artists was set when a painting by late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe sold for m . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved