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'12 Years a Slave' team backstage at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards

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The 71st annual Golden Globe Awards took place on Jan. 12, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here is what these Golden Globe winners said backstage in the Golden Globe Awards press room.

“12 YEARS A SLAVE”

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Can you talk about what you wanted people to experience in this film just before the Civil War?

Steve McQueen (director): I just feel it is important that one reflects on that particular time in history. I am just so happy that the public have received the film so well in Europe and in the United States. So it is just exhilarating to think that the public embraces film.

Obviously you are a favorite now for the Oscars. What would it mean to win an Oscar for “12 Years a Slave”?

McQueen: I am happy with this one right now. That’s the answer to that question. I am enjoying this right now. Thank you very much.

How has playing the Solomon Northup role in “12 Years a Slave” impacted your life now in modern America?

Chiwetel Ejiofor (co-star): That’s an interesting question. I had never heard of Solomon before. When I got the script and read the book, it is a story that is about, in the end, human respect and dignity and what those things really mean and the ways in which we can engage. It is never too early or too late to engage and continue to engage in those things.

It is like Steve was saying, it is great that people received the film in the way that they have, the story in that subject matter and the wider reach of that subject matter internationally. It has had a huge impact on my life in telling the story and learning about the story. My hope is that it has a wider impact on people.

Mr. Fassbender, can you tell us about your relationship with Steve McQueen? How did it start and what has it meant for you?

Michael Fassbender (co-star): Well, Steve changed my life. I think he’s just a wonderful storyteller, wonderful leader, wonderful human being. I consider him like family, and I love him to bits.

How did you guys meet?

Fassbender: Across a crowded room. I think in a small room, actually, near Camden, 2007 or 2006.

McQueen: 2007.

Fassbender: 2007. Just sort of met him through Gary Davey. I have to thank Gary for that. He said, “You should meet this guy,” and suggested me to Steve and met him the first time and then auditioned the second time.

McQueen: Thank you very much for your support. Thank you.

For more info: Golden Globe Awards website

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