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12 YEARS A SLAVE, based on the memoir by Solomon Northup, a free man of color who was sold into slavery in the ante-bellum United States, is Lupita Nyong’o feature film debut, but the actress has been working in the movie business for a long time. She co-starred in the African series SHUGA, and worked crew for, among other films, Fernando Mereille’s THE CONSTANT GARDNER, and was the writer, director, and producer of IN MY GENES, about the struggles of Kenya’s albino population. Poised, refined, and warmly effusive. she spoke movingly about playing Patsey, including the traditional New Orleans reception YEARS received there in the state where it was filmed. and about meeting Northup’s descendants, who span the rainbow from black to white. What stays with me in the time since speaking with her on October 12, 2013, is the way she spoke of maintaining her character’s dignity despite the horrific abuse and degradation heaped upon her by her master, played with chilling, near-insane intensity by Michael Fassbender.
Click on the link to listen to the interiew (7:30) 12 YEARS A SLAVE — Lupita Nyong’o Interview.