“It’s why I got into film in the first place,” says Pitt, who plays an abolitionist in the film. “It’s one of those few films that cuts to the base of our humanity and it was not ’til I saw Solomon Northrup’s story that I fully, fully grasped the other horror of losing your freedom or denying another one their freedom … splitting their family apart. It’s abhorrent.”
When asked if he’d show the movie to his kids, he says, “Absolutely. … Maybe my eldest, I would, right now. I’d wait for the others to get a little bit older and understand the dynamics of the world a little more.”
As for the impact of the movie, Pitt says it’s not even a question. “I already know. I know what this film is. I’ve been around film long enough, I know the impact and this one will have continuing impact.”
And what about his upcoming 50th birthday? “So far, I haven’t minded a bit. No complaints.”
“12 Years a Slave” opens nationwide Oct. 31, 2013.