Alfre Woodard Talks Playing A Plantation Mistress In ’12 Years A Slave’

October 31, 2013  |  




From EurWeb 

Alfre Woodard’s character in “12 Years a Slave” is brief (one scene), but unforgettable.

The veteran actress plays Mistress Harriet Shaw, a formerly enslaved woman who rises through the Southern caste system to become the wife of a wealthy plantation owner.

“She is a woman who, like all women during this period, whether they were field slaves, house slaves, white mistresses of households, whoever they were, women had a very tough road to hoe,” Woodard told NPR. “And you get to see how little actual power they had in the society. But they all figured out a way to use the personal power they had as women to make their lives livable.”

Mistress Shaw’s plantation sits next to the plantation that eventually lands free-born Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) after he is sold into slavery.

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  • FromUR2UB

    That was probably one of the more peculiar scenes in the movies, especially when her character says, “This is nice”, because life had become comfortable for her and she’d grown oblivious to the suffering.