Belfast Telegraph

Fassbender: Scenes hard to watch

Michael Fassbender has admitted he found it tough watching some of the scenes in his new film 12 Years A Slave.

The movie follows Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free man who is abducted and sold into slavery in 1841, and Michael plays harsh plantation owner Edwin Epps.

The actor told E! News: "For me, the rape scene was most difficult to film and probably the most difficult to watch was the whipping scene."

Michael also revealed that while the heavy subject matter of the historical drama took its toll, the cast and crew leaned on each other.

"There are heavy, intense moments when you're on set and filming," he said. "But we had a lot of support within each other, a lot of respect, a lot of love on that crew and amongst the actors, so we were looking after each other, you know."

The actor has also told how he looked for the human side of his character.

He told Flicks And Bits: "He's a human being, so I approached him with a very human touch.

"I tried to find his voice first. I worked with a lot of different tapes and our dialect coach helped me out a lot."

He went on: "It was about finding the human being in Epps, because obviously what he does is pretty terrible, but... I don't know, there's something in there where I feel a little sorry for him. He's a victim of the time as well, in a way. He's in love with Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) and he can't deal with it, he thinks, 'How can I be in love with a slave?'

"So he sets about suppressing her and beating her to try to beat it out of himself. So I thought that there was a really amazing humanity in that alone. So that was my in - the love for Patsey and how he was processing that. I think I see Epps as a representative of the time, all the ugliness and despicable is culminated into this character."

12 Years A Slave was directed by Steve McQueen and also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodard and Sarah Paulson.

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