12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen had a lot to celebrate other than his film winning Best Picture in a Drama, which was one of the biggest honors of the night. For McQueen, who has already picked up numerous awards for his efforts as a director, this is all about celebrating the film itself, which almost didn’t make it to theaters.
After what was probably a very long night, Best Supporting Male in a Drama nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, Best Supporting Male nominee Michael Fassbender, Best Supporting Female nominee Lupita Nyong’o, and director Steve McQueen, sat down with the TODAY’s show Savannah Guthrie to discuss the celebrations at the Golden Globe awards.
Of the film that tells the important story of Solomon Northup, who was captured and sold into slavery, McQueen said:
“The reason why all four of us are sitting here is because of Solomon Northup, a lost American hero. I’m so happy that we, as a group, as a community of filmmakers, got together to make this film, to hold him up and say, ‘Thank you.'”
Ejiofor, who has been widely celebrated for his performance in 12 Years a Slave as Northup said of what made him take on the role:
“This is a story that centers on the love that this man has for his family, and how the need to connect with them can get him through the most extraordinary circumstances.”
Lupita Nyong’o is another new name we’ve been hearing all throughout awards season. Nyong’o who started in the industry as a personal assistant on film sets, spoke about how she knew the experience would be special even before McQueen started filming.
“When I first read the script, I understood something in my gut about this character that I didn’t understand in my head, and that doesn’t happen very often.”
As for Fassbender, over the last year or so he has made statements about not being the biggest fan of awards season, but even he gave a unique perspective when speaking about 12 Years a Slave. In the film he plays an unforgivable slave owner Edwin Epps.
“I think as human beings, we’re all made of the same stuff. So a character that does such despicable acts, like Epps, I think people are very quick to go, ‘You know, that person’s evil. It’s like a monster,’ because they’re afraid maybe there’s elements of him inside themselves.”
Watch director Steve McQueen accept the award for Best Picture in a Drama for 12 Years a Slave: