Michael Fassbender: Edwin Epps tries to quash love of Patsey

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 12 May 2014
Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender tried to find the "human" elements of evil plantation owner Edwin Epps who repeatedly raped Patsy (Lupita Nyong'o) in '12 Years A Slave'

Michael Fassbender tried to find the "human" elements of the evil plantation owner he portrayed in '12 Years A Slave'.

The 37-year-old actor's alter-ego, Edwin Epps, abused slaves because he believed he was biblically sanctioned to do so in the film which is based on the true story of Solomon Northup - a free man who was deceived and sold into slavery.

While preparing for the role Fassbender tried to locate the softer "human being" in his character, who repeatedly raped Patsey (Lupita Nyong'o) and seemed to fall in love with her against his better judgement.

He said: "I think the point of departure for the character really is the relationship with Patsey. It was kind of the focal point - the relationship there and the fact that he was in love with her but didn't know how to process that information. Therefore, he tries to quash it by beating her and the violence towards her. I tried to find a human being in there as opposed to some evil plantation owner."

The Hollywood hunk also tried to master the accent and soak up the atmosphere in New Orleans where the film is set, as well as reading the real memoir which the biopic is based on.

Fassbender added: "I tried to find his voice so I worked with Tim, the dialogue coach, who sent me various tapes with various accents. I went to New Orleans six weeks before we started filming to try and soak up the atmosphere there. Then it's just about working with the script. I read the book of course but then just spent time with the script."

'12 Years A Slave' will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on 12th May 2014, courtesy of Entertainment One.

12 Years a Slave

  • 5 stars
  • 2013
  • US
  • 2h 13min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Steve McQueen
  • Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael K. Williams, Michael Fassbender
  • UK release: 10 January 2014

In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. McQueen's third feature (and follow-up to Shame) features a stellar cast.

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