Via his program, The Treatment, our man Elvis Mitchell dug into Steve McQueen's mighty brain on all things Shame, his latest work, currently in theaters; the conversation is about 30 minutes long, and is worth listening to in full.
Starting at about the 23-minute mark, Mitchell asks McQueen about the role of women in the film, and, in his reply, McQueen dishes a bit on casting a black woman, specifically Nicole Beharie, as Marianne, Brandon's (Michael Fassbender's) love interest, what that meant to the film, and the opposition he met. I wish he went on a little more on that subject actually; alas, it comes up towards the end of their chat, and Mitchell had to bring the program to a close.
I should also add that Blackfilm.com got to chat with McQueen, and asked him specifically about casting Beharie, and this was his reply:
As far as Nicole, she was hot. I had seen her in a play at Lincoln Center called ‘A Free Man of Color’ and I was like, “Whoa! Who’s that amazing person?” I had to see her and see if I could audition her. She was difficult to get for an audition. She was in the play, and it was initially hard to get a ticket for the play as well. Finally, she did audition and she was amazing. Nicole is pretty special. She has the capacity of being a great actress. Absolutely. It’s just about opportunities. That’s all she needs.
Listen to his convo with Elvis Mitchell below; and if you're impatient, you can skip to the 23-minute mark: