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New Pic From 'Twelve Years A Slave' Set Confirms Adepero Oduye As 'Eliza' & Storm Reid As 'Emily'

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 8, 2012 4:40 PM
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The film is not yet listed on her (Storm Reid's) IMDB nor IMDBPro pages, but the photo above (and below in full), as well as the caption that accompanied it ("Storm Reid as "Emily" and Adepero Oduye as "Eliza" on set of Twelve Years a Slave directed by Steve McQueen") most certainly are.

And with that, we can confirm what I think we all already knew - that Adepero Oduye is playing Eliza in the film; although we didn't know that Storm Reid is playing her daughter Emily

Next to Patsey (who will be played by Lupita Nyong'o), Eliza is the other prominent female role in the story, and should provide Adepero with enough of a challenge, and lots of screen time to shine.

In short, Eliza is a slave with 2 children - Randall and Emily; we know her as a smart, strong woman (as Solomon Northup describes her), eventually devastated by the loss of her children. As I recall, she has 2 or 3 really of what I'd call powerful, emotional scenes that I think won't leave a single eye dry in the audience when the film is eventually released.

I'd even go as far as to say that it's the kind of role that, despite the fact that it's not THE starring role, could draw lots of acclaim, and awards, depending on how Steve McQueen and Adepero approach the material. Although, really, one could say that about each of the few starring roles in the film.

Regardless, this could be a strong showcase for Adepero and her abilities. 

As for Storm Reid, based on her short IMDB page (there are just 2 projects listed on it), this will most certainly be her highest profile role, and she too will get her moment to shine in Twelve Years A Slave

I did some googling, and found 2 videos of Storm on YouTube, auditioning for parts in Vipaka (the upcoming Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Sanaa Lathan thriller), and Tyler Perry's Good Deeds (she didn't get either part). Both videos are embedded below, underneath the full photo of she and Adepero on the Twelve Years A Slave Set:  

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  • anon | August 8, 2012 4:52 PMReply

    intresting two black films this little girl auditioned for but the casting directors are white?

  • Laura | August 8, 2012 8:31 PM

    @Turner. That's not true. Steve McQueen is white. He has been re-animated to direct the film. This film is a cross between "Bullit" and "Papillon" set in the Louisiana Bayou during slavey.

  • Turner | August 8, 2012 8:11 PM

    @Nana....Steve McQueen, the director of this movie is Black! Has been for years! lol

  • Nana | August 8, 2012 7:14 PM

    Although I'm not sure of the original intent of the Anon's comment, I don't know why people are attacking it as if it has no validity. It is very important to have black directors, producers, cinematographers-pretty much as many people of color we can get who have creative control of media that represents minorities.

    The reason why black images in the media have been distorted is because there are so few actual black people behind the camera, making real decisions. It matters, and it makes a difference.

    The idea that we should shut up and be grateful just because a white producer threw us a bone and decided to make a film about black people is simply unacceptable, and a sign of an inferiority-complex. Some of us need to get a backbone and set higher standards.

    RE: The article-I wasn't surprised that casting directors were white, because the director himself is a white man. The actresses are very talented, and I'm curious to see how McQueen interprets a screenplay about black oppression.

  • Nadia | August 8, 2012 6:45 PM

    Who the hell cares what race the casting directors are? You have anything to say about the film, the picture or anything that was actually said in the article?

  • turner | August 8, 2012 5:08 PM

    @Anon--So? Would you feel better if there were 2 sets of casting directors; one for the black actors and one for the white ones? And maybe a Latino casting director for Latin actors... hold up! Maybe dual cinematographers, see how ridiculous this is getting. Be happy already! A movie of quality is being made with Black folks. Geeze!

  • Ali | August 8, 2012 5:06 PM

    I know the casting director for Good Deeds was black. The person you're hearing was a reader.

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