One of the reasons why I went to the Yale School of Drama is because I felt that I was acting off of instinct, but sometimes that is not reliable. When you're not feeling it, what do you do? So, going to grad school was about getting the tools to just use my instrument to the best of my ability.
The set of '12 Years a Slave' was an extremely joyous one! We all recognized that we were making a powerful, necessary and beautiful film, and we weren't about doing it without that sense of responsibility, and we recognized that we needed each other to tell this story. We also knew we needed to hold each other up as we told the story.
Whoopi Goldberg looked like me, she had hair like mine, she was dark like me. I'd been starved for images of myself. I'd grown up watching a lot of American TV. There was very little Kenyan material, because we had an autocratic ruler who stifled our creative expression.