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TODAY   |  January 13, 2014

Legacy of ’12 Years a Slave’ goes beyond awards

The historical film “12 Years a Slave” won Best Film Drama at the Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, but its cast and crew agree that working on the movie was a reward in itself.

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>>> with more on the golden globes . not long after director steve mcqueen decided he wanted to make his next movie about slavery, he learned about a memoir called "12 years of slave." and last night, it walked away with the biggest prize of the evening.

>> the golden globe award goes to -- "12 years of slave."

>> when "12 years of slave" won for best picture , it was the culmination of a story more than 150 years in the making.

>> well, boy, how do you feel now?

>> reporter: the movie is based on a memoir by solomon northop, a free man with a wife and children kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 .

>> my name's --

>> your name is platte.

>> were there ever any doubts? were you worried that people weren't going to get this?

>> no. because i think audience is interested in challenging narratives, challenging stories.

>> reporter: when i sat down with the cast and director, we talked about how difficult it can be to watch solomon 's marrowimarrow i harrowing journey.

>> i found myself crying as the credits rolled. and i wondered what it was like for you to be part of that experience.

>> the book is so moving, engaging, this character, this extraordinary time in history. it's so powerful to me. it is a story that centers around the love this man has for his family. and how the need to reconnect with them can get him through the most extraordinary circumstances.

>> solomon finds a way to escape, but millions of others, like a character named patsy never did.

>> i make myself gag.

>> patsy is lupita nyong's first hollywood role.

>> did you ever imagine you'd get the part of a lifetime so early on and be part of something that's so special?

>> when i first read the script, i understood something in my gut about this character that i didn't understand with my head. and that doesn't happen very often.

>> michael fastbender plays one of new hollywood's most terrifying villains, the slave owner edwin x.

>> i brought her back just like --

>> i think as human beings , we're all made of the same stuff. so a character that does such despicable act like epps, i think people are quick to go, that person's evil. that's like a monster because they're afraid maybe there's elements of him inside themselves.

>> this is the third time the actor has worked with director steve mcqueen in their previous collaborations, he played a man on a hunger strike and a sex addict .

>> michael, why does steve keep putting you in these roles that cause you to do -- i don't know, some pretty stark and in some cases horrifying things?

>> he enjoys punishing me.

>> do you think you could get like a romantic comedy from him next time?

>> yeah. absolutely. we'll do a musical next. no, i mean -- i'm not kidding.

>> when oscar nominations are announced later this week, the cast and director are favorites to make the list. but for them, the legacy of "12 years of slave" is bigger than any award.

>> the reason why all four of us are sitting here because of a lost american hero . i'm so happy that we as a group -- as a unity of film makers got together to make this film to hold him up and say thank you.

>> an amazing man and an amazing film.