Michael Fassbender turned to the cast and crew on 12 Years A Slave for support as he struggled to portray a cruel plantation owner. The movie, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as free black man Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, features many violent moments involving Fassbender's hateful character. The Irish star admits he relied on the kindness of his fellow actors when having to shoot the hard-to-stomach scenes. He says, "For me, the rape scene was most difficult to film and probably the most difficult to watch was the whipping scene. "There are heavy, intense moments when you're on set and filming. But we had a lot of support within each other, a lot of respect, a lot of love on that crew and amongst the actors so we were looking after each other, you know."