Let the 2014 Oscar race begin! Just one week after Brad Pitt's 12 Years a Slave debuted at the Telluride Film Festival, the film made its official premiere at the Toronto International Festival Festival Friday night, already gaining a substantial amount of Oscar buzz.
The film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man, who was abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War. Pitt both produced and played a supporting role in the film as Steve McQueen directed.
Pitt expressed his gratitude for the rave reviews in a Q&A after the premiere. "I just have to say, if I never get to participate in a film again, this is it for me," the 49-year-old actor said. "It was a privilege."
Pitt wore his long hair pulled back in a pony tail for the event, and seemed in great spirits throughout the evening. When asked about the Oscar buzz on the red carpet he quipped, "They all deserve it, everyone of these performances is worthy."
Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, 36, who plays the lead role, also has high hopes for the film. "We'll see. We've gotten the film this far," he told Us Weekly of the Oscar buzz. "I think at the moment I feel really proud of the film and Steve McQueen has done an extraordinary job. It's an amazing array of people who are involved with this film, actors and beyond. The fact that we're at this point any way is amazing. It's everything."
Following the much applauded premiere, the cast – including Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti – hit downtown Toronto to celebrate, first with a cast dinner at Hudson Kitchen followed by an impromptu late night party at The Thompson Hotel, where Bungalow 8 and Amy Sacco has created an after hours destination for the stars. There, inside a specially made VIP area, Brad, Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch enjoyed the rooftop view and a few well-deserved cocktails.
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