Alfre Woodard Joins 'Twelve Years a Slave' Cast (Exclusive)

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Woodard joins director Steve McQueen's period movie, which also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, and Michael Fassbender.

Alfre Woodard will join the cast of Twelve Years a Slave, the New Regency film being produced by Plan B and River Road.

The film is being directed by Steve McQueen (Shame, Hunger) and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender.

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Based on an autobiography written in 1853 by Solomon Northup, a free black man who became enslaved, the script tells how Northup (Ejiofor) was kidnapped and put in a slave pen, paving the way for a grueling life under numerous owners.

Woodard will play Mistress Shaw, a former slave who has risen in the Southern caste system.

Lupita Nyong'o also is joining the cast and will play a slave who is the object of both the affections and cruelty of Master Epps (Fassbender).

The Twelve Years cast also includes Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Sarah Paulson.

An Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress, Woodard recently co-starred on TV’s Memphis Beat and Three Rivers. Her stint on True Blood last year earned her 16th Emmy nomination. She is repped by ICM Partners, D/F Management and Stankevich/Gochman.