Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) MSNBC Decides: Touré Is Out, Rev. Al Stays (For Now) Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Disney Channel & Disney XD Casting Directors Holding Online Casting Call for Diverse Actors, Age 10-17 Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Revisiting Spike Lee's Perplexing 'She Hate Me' on Its 11th Anniversary Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Oprah Winfrey Presents Landmark 7-Night Event Series 'Belief' Premiering October 18 (Trailer) Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Watch 5 Clips From TV One Original Movie 'Runaway Island' - Premieres This Saturday, July 25 Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder Samira Wiley to Co-Star in Film Based on Kitty Genovese 1964 Murder MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MTV Has Made Its 'White People' Documentary Available Online - Watch It Here MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) MSNBC Is Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Rev. Al (Demote Him or Let Him Go?) LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital LeBron James Inks "Unprecedented Agreement" with Warner Bros. Spanning Film, TV, Digital "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo "New Money, New Power" in 'Empire' Season 2 First Look Video Promo Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Will World Premiere as the Closing Night Film at the 53rd New York Film Festival What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips What TV Critics Are Saying about MTV's 'White People' Documentary + Watch 3 Clips Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong'o Join Cast Of Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' (We Have Our Patsey!)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act June 11, 2012 at 4:53PM

Boy... the cast of Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave continues to impress! Even if I had absolutely no idea what the project was about, with this cast, and director, I would definitely be interested to see whatever it was they were cooking up.
76
Alfre Woodard Lupita

Boy... the cast of Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave continues to impress! Even if I had absolutely no idea what the project was about, with this cast, and director, I would definitely be interested to see whatever it was they were cooking up.

Alfre Woodard will join a cast that already includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyePaul DanoBenedict Cumberbatch, Scoot McNairyGarret Dillahunt, Brad Pitt Paul Giamatti and Sarah Paulson.

Woodard will play Mistress Shaw, a former slave who climbes the Southern caste system. I read the book, but I don't immediately recall that character; and skimming through Vanessa's review of the actual script, there is no mention of a Mistress Shaw either. So I'm guessing it's likely a relatively *minor* role. Although I'll have to flip through the pages of the book again to see where exactly she's mentioned.

Maybe Vanessa remembers and can add to this in the comments section.

Also joining the cast is newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, who will reportedly play "a slave who is the object of both the affections and cruelty of Master Epps (Fassbender)," says The Hollywood Reporter. And I believe that answers another major question we've had about the project - and that is, who will play the role of Patsey.

We speculated that Adepero Oduye would play that role after it was announced that she'd been cast in the film; but it looks like Lupita will play Patsey.

Why do I think this character as described is indeed Patsey? Well, as I said in my book-to-film reportPatsey's story is a sad, sad one. She's considered the best cotton picker of Epps' slaves, and is also his mistress, although certainly not because she wants to be. Epps is married, and his wife is aware of his infidelities with Patsey, and for that reason, she routinely orders Patsey whipped. She hates Patsey, and of course blames her for Epps' indiscretions, even though she doesn't exactly have any say in the matter. So Patsey is forced to sleep with Epps, facing his wrath if she doesn't; but if she does sleep with him, she faces Epps' wife's wrath. There's a scene in which Patsey is whipped by Epps so cruelly that I felt it just from reading Northup's words as he described the scene. I don't know how McQueen will shoot that particular sequence, but it'll be incredibly painful to watch. If you don't already hate Epps by then (and really, given everything else he does prior, you should), this will most certainly do it.

So, with a description that reads "a slave who is the object of both the affections and cruelty of Master Epps," Patsey is really the only slave woman who fits that description.

Looking over Lupita's IMDB page (she's originally from Kenya by the way), she's actually primarily a filmmaker, and has done some crew work on other projects. But little in the acting department. Although on her Twitter page, which I found via Google search, she lists herself as an actor first, and says that she is a Yale School of Drama graduate!

But I'll do some further digging to see what more I can learn about her, and will report my findings here.

As I said in a previous post, Patsey's is a meaty role, and she'll certainly chew up quite a bit of screen time. So this could certainly be a showcase for Lupita's talents.


Shadow & ActNewsletter