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'Beast Of The Southern Wild's' Quvenzhané Wallis Joins '12 Years A Slave' + Set Pic Of Northup Family

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 1, 2012 9:45 AM
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Twelve Years A Slave - Northup Family

UPDATE: Thanks to reader DCM, we can now confirm that the actress in the photo is Kelsey Scott, who's had parts in a number of TV shows like Greys Anatomy, Criminal Minds, The Young And The Restless, Days Of Our Lives; she's also a writer and director.

Here's the original post...

Some of my colleagues and I have spent part of the morning trying to break down this new Twelve Years A Slave set photo, but still remain with questions, so you folks can jump in as well.

The photo is said to be of the Northup family - obviously Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Beast Of The Southern Wild's Quvenzhané Wallis (who we can officially say is in the film's cast, although no previous announcements were made about her casting). 

The other 2 actors however (the woman and the boy) we're not familiar with; neither is listed on the film's IMDBPro page, and reaserch turned up nothing. I'm hoping an email to Brad Pitt's production company (Plan B - they are behind the film) will yield results.

The actress's face is familiar, but I can't put the face together with a name, so if any of you reading this can enlighten us, please do so.

As for the boy, he's not familiar to me at all.

Secondly, while it's said that this is a photo of Northup and his family, there are a couple of inconsistencies with the film's script and novel: first, his wife is said to be bi-racial, and it's made clear that she's fairer-skinned than he is. The actress above doesn't quite fit the description; BUT, director Steve McQueen could certainly have taken some liberties with her description, and just went with an actress he liked for the part. After all, the fact that she's bi-racial, and light-skinned doesn't have much, if any impact on the story. It just is.

Secondly, Northup and his wife had 3 children, not 2. But again, McQueen could've made that change as well, for the same reasons - of little significance to the core narrative.

At first, I did wonder if the woman and children were actually instead another character named Eliza (a much more important role in the film than Northup's wife) and her son and daughter, Randall and Emily, as we don't yet know what actress is playing Eliza in the film. Although, Adepero Oduye seems to be the most likely candidate, since it's the one role in the script that suits her best.

But that hasn't been confirmed either.

And I should also note that, in the story, Eliza's son is older than her daughter, which would challenge the theory that this might be Eliza, given the obvious in the photo.

Questions, questions...

Regardless of what the answers are, it's good to see Quvenzhané Wallis is in this; I love the fact that McQueen brought both she and her Beast Of The Southern Wild co-star Dwight Henry on-board; he was cast a few weeks ago, playing the part of Uncle Abram.

To all our readers down in the New Orleans area, get your cameras out, get close to the set, and take some more pics for us! :)

Check out the full photo below:

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  • Paris Simpson | August 4, 2012 3:09 PMReply

    Native Atlantan 9 year old STORM REID has been cast as Emily in Steve McQueen's " TWELVE YEARS a SLAVE".

  • the black police | August 2, 2012 3:19 AMReply

    Well to everyone crying about how Q doesnt have any jobs lined up for her, there you go! But this slave movie... I finally watched "Beasts" and she was marvelous!

  • Lisa | August 1, 2012 11:34 PMReply

    Storm Reid is playing Eliza's daughter. Pretty girl.

  • AccidentalVisitor | August 1, 2012 8:55 PMReply

    Hardly any of the cast chosen look like the people as described in the book (finsihed it a few weeks ago). Michael Williams plays a guy whom if I'm not mistaken was high yellow (if not him then some other individual played by another cast member and last time I checked there isn't a light complexion black male in the movie). Dwight Henry is also too young to be playing Uncle Abram.

  • bondgirl | August 1, 2012 8:01 PMReply

    Adepero is playing Eliza, but Quvenzhane isn't her daughter (wish she was). She's Northrup's daughter. I adore this little girl so much, I wish I could adopt her. She has a bright future ahead of her, if her family supports it.

  • Barb | August 1, 2012 4:56 PMReply

    Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Ford and by accounts he does play his character close to what he is in the book.

  • D.C. Kirkwood | August 1, 2012 4:25 PMReply

    Ive heard that this young lady Kelsey Scott was very talented as a writer and I heard she had directed a couple of shorts. But Im glad to see she's acting as well. Best of luck to her. Versatility in Hollywood is always a plus.

  • Jessie | August 1, 2012 2:48 PMReply

    Eliza wasn't biracial but her daughter was.

  • ALM | August 1, 2012 2:33 PMReply

    This little lady Miss Walls has gotten taller already :) I love Chiwetel. I don't know the other actors yet. That is all. :)

  • DCM | August 1, 2012 12:50 PMReply

    The actress in the picture is Kelsey Scott. She plays Northrup's wife and is an extraordinary actress and Dekalb Center for the Performing Arts graduate.

  • Donella | August 1, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    Steve McQueen is not playing around. The biracial aspect doesn't affect the events of the story.

  • Ren | August 1, 2012 11:13 AMReply

    Wasn't Eliza bi-racial also? And in all probability, Northup did not look like Chiwetel, whose mother was also of mixed race. So I'm sure, as in like every movie under the sun, McQueen took quite a few liberties with his version of the story. I mean, just look at the fact that Fassbender is playing a character that according to Northup's account, looks nothing like him. As much as we'd like to believe otherwise, it's still the movies and it's never going to be real.

  • Evan | August 1, 2012 10:35 AMReply

    Can't wait for this movie. Most anticipated of next year. Great casting. Steve McQueen is an incredible filmmaker. Hunger and Shame are amazing.

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