They must be reconsidering.” Luckily, I wasn’t fired. Oh, it was the height of summer in Louisiana, so it was hot. And it was something else to be picking cotton in that kind of heat. My friend had told me that it was worth it and that you could get a kind of three-dimensional experience of slavery.And then I just recognized, these people were made of some strong stuff. I mean, they did that, picking cotton, more than sixteen hours a day, in that heat. Flanked by these oak trees that have been there for over 300 years. So I went there and — indeed, I walked into the museum and the first thing I saw was a bale of 500 pounds of cotton, and that’s what Patsey was known to pick every day.A heat that was kind of challenging me in these kinds of plush conditions I was in. And it was taller than me and it was thicker than me. I was just, like, met with, “Yeah, this woman was really lofty to do this kind of thing and live so fully in that moment and then at the same time want to die and be relieved of her pain.” So that was a real influence, that place.
You’re Kenyan, Steve and Chiwetel are British, Michael is Irish.
Is there something important about non-Americans telling this very American story?
And made her threatening to Master Epps’s wife, played by Sarah Paulson. Obviously it’s what intrigued and attracted Master Epps.
And she had to be present because he was so volatile. She was born on another plantation, but she was brought there as a little girl and she was in the house to begin. No, it’s in the book, in [Solomon Northup’s] autobiography.
But I think America isn’t really made of many of Americans, is it?
And our jobs as actors is to lend ourselves to things that are not of ourselves.
I think that’s something that people can assess and analyze from the outside.
Really, I think it’s a coincidence, and really, it’s a question better suited to Steve.
These men on the ships and everything, they kept diaries of their experience, so they’re talking about how they killed the slaves and put the heads on stakes, and you see in the Middle Passage how everyone was chained together and people would die and everything would fester and all the disease and sickness.