Sarah Paulson on 12 Years a Slave: "It's Very Hard to Watch"

The actress talks playing a slave owner in Steve McQueen's latest.

Posted: 10/04/2013 08:45 AM EDT
Sarah Paulson

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is already one of fall's most talked-about dramas, an unflinching look at slavery in America. Making the brutal film was surely a challenge for lead actors Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o and Alfre Woodard, who all play slaves in the film, but it was also a difficult role for Sarah Paulson, who plays a white slave owner, to digest.

"It's very hard to watch" the attitude she had to convey, Paulson tells us, adding that director McQueen insisted that "nobody make any apologies" for the characters they were playing. In our exclusive video, the actress opens up about tapping into her darkest places for the film, and also how — as an out-and-proud lesbian — she would compare civil rights to LGBT rights. 

Check out our chat with Sarah Paulson below and see 12 Years a Slave in theaters on October 18.

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