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Ruth Negga Joins Cast Of "12 Years A Slave;" Adepero Oduye ("Pariah") Confirmed As Well

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 22, 2012 4:18 PM
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Ruth Negga

Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga (last seen as vixen alongside Samuel L. Jackson in The Samaritan, released last week) joins a now officially confirmed Adepero Oduye (Pariah), as well as newly-cast Paul Dano and Scoot McNairy, to the cast list of Steve McQueen's slave narrative on film, Twelve Years A Slave

Based on Solomon Northrup's non-fictioner, who will be played by star Chiwetel Ejiofor, a once free man, kidnapped and sold into slavery on a Louisiana plantation, in 19th century USA.

Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing the film, which co-stars Pitt himself, as well as Michael Fassbender, both cast early.

No word on what character Adepero will play, but Ruth Negga (gradually making her way Stateside) will play a runaway slave, and McNairy will play one of the circus workers who assists in Northup's kidnapping.

Production is scheduled to begin at the end of June.

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  • Gee Bee | October 14, 2013 11:05 PMReply

    Here we go again....when Hollywood needs a beautiful black actress to play a lead role, they are sure to cast an actress who is either half white, or looks half white. Hollywood seems allergic to dark brown beauties playing lead roles. I'm sick of it.

  • Tamara | May 24, 2012 12:06 PMReply

    Interesting, Brad Pitt's involvement and casting. I probably said this in another post, but when reading an old novel about slavery in the south, a fictional work known as "Mandingo" and the works that followed thereafter, I always cast the character of "Hammond Maxwell" as Brad Pitt...before I finally viewed the movie, of course. Tried reading the novel, "Twelve Years..." recently. Couldn't get through it...grew bored with it. Would rather be fed its tale via big screen or small. Something about the writing just rubbed me wrong... But I digress. Interesting casting thus far in this feature. I look forward to seeing the work.

  • Malcom | May 23, 2012 7:54 PMReply

    @Adepero Oduye last time i checked , she was African

  • Donella | May 23, 2012 5:53 PMReply

    I wonder if McQueen is introducing Brits and Irish to the production because he's more familiar with their work?

  • Malcom | May 22, 2012 6:27 PMReply

    So ... are there any actual AFRO AMERICANS in this film? You know , from the same ethnic group as Solomon Northup?

  • TNails | July 16, 2012 2:42 PM

    I can't believe some of the comments I've read implying that Steve McQueen should've cast African Americans over Africans. Unless you've read the script, were at the auditions, and know how he wants to tell the story, where do you get the right to be so judgmental? Did it cross your mind that they may have had the best auditions? Lupita just graduated from one of the best acting programs in the country while Adepero has proven her chops both on film and stage and Chiwitel wipes the floor with just about anyone he acts with - white or black. White English and Australian actors steal American roles on a regular basis, and it isn't because of their nationality. One's history doesn't entitle anyone to a role in the present. The notion you should cast people from the area you portray, gives neither due credit to the craft of actors or the imagination of the director. To abide by such simplistic logic would have robbed fans of seeing an English Jew, Liz Taylor, play a tragic southerner in Cat on a Tin Roof, or Idris Elba's tortured Rwandan in Sometimes in April, or Forest Whitaker's amazing take on a Ugandan despot - by further extension, not having a black director, Steve McQueen, direct a story about an Irish hero, Bobby Sands. Knowing that hundreds of black American actors auditioned for 12 Years, it makes you wonder not just about Steve McQueens' aesthetic but the training of African Americans compared to their foreign competition. Just ask Christian Bale.

  • BluTopaz | May 23, 2012 11:57 AM

    @ Kenneth-Anyone who thinks there are not SPECIFIC casting choices that appear to be distinct decisons based on business decisions is a dumb mofo (waving hello to you). I like McQueen, and if I want to state it seems odd that he is not casting Black Americans in a movie about North American slavery that is my choice. Makes no difference whether you like it or not. I never said I wouldn't see it, or that McQueen is making the wrong choices. You decided to jump in the fray, so you need to slow your roll and sit your ignorant, hyper, defensive we are the world black diaspora ass down. I love Jennifer Hudson, and I think casting her as Winnie Mandela in that other flick is ridiculous for various reasons. You can stfu about that as well.

    And if you learn how to read, instead of knee jerk reactions you halfway literate so and so, I did NOT say only Africans should play Africans. Take a deep breath, put the weed down, go back and read and come back with a logical reply. Otherwise I am done wallowing in the mud with you.

  • bondgirl | May 23, 2012 11:38 AM

    Kenneth, if you really believe that movie making is about casting actors who give a good performance, then you're probably too naive to realize that the Apple computer you have is due to all the freaking product placement you've inhaled watching films. People go to see a movie based on watching celebrities they enjoy, not JUST because they love a good (subjective) actor. Btw, I don't need a racist to qualify if "black is black". From what I've seen, the only AA's are slave extras, so I'm optimistic that Patsey or Eliza will be an American.

  • Donella | May 23, 2012 10:52 AM

    Agree with Kenneth. Looking forward to great performances.

  • Kenneth | May 23, 2012 10:30 AM

    @blutopaz-- Wish granted . . . I'm back your dumbass. What's sick is the fact that you're now trying to justify your stupid complaints with the equally stupid complaints of those demanding that only Africans play Africans. When are all of you going to realize that it shouldn't matter, as long as the performance is good? They're all black actors, and that's all that should matter. If it isn't your film, and you haven't financed it, don't worry about where the actor is from, because it isn't your decision anyway. And furthermore, don't try to use a positive site like this one to create division between black readers and viewers.

  • BluTopaz | May 23, 2012 10:04 AM

    @ Kenneth---what is "sick" about inquiring a director's casting choices? You don't find it odd a foreign filmmaker is casting non-American Black actors in a true film about a North American slave, maybe you are stupid. And ask a lot of Africans how much they love Black Americans being cast as African characters (even just fictional), and get back to me.

  • Kenneth | May 23, 2012 6:23 AM

    You people are sick. Black is black. Ask any racist, and they'll confirm.

  • Naomi | May 23, 2012 5:41 AM

    Adepero Oduye is AFRO AMERICAN

  • BluTopaz | May 22, 2012 7:08 PM

    I was thinking the same. I don't mind Chiwetel in the lead, but I wonder if McQueen is purposely not casting any Black Americans? Very odd.

  • Jeremy | May 22, 2012 6:06 PMReply


  • Donella | May 22, 2012 5:31 PMReply

    Sounds promising. Thanks Tambay.

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