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Chiwetel Ejiofor was hesitant about 12 Years A Slave role

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Jan 03, 2014 | 3:44am EST

British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor nearly turned down the lead role in 12 Years A Slave over fears he might have "messed it up". Director Steve McQueen's movie, based on the true story of an African-American man born free but kidnapped and sold into slavery, scored Ejiofor a Golden Globe award nomination and he is now tipped for a Best Actor Oscar nod. However, the Love Actually star admits he was initially uncertain about taking on the project. He tells the BBC, "When I read the script, I thought it was an extraordinary story but I did feel the weight and the responsibility of it. I didn't want to be the guy that messed it up... I just questioned myself and was stuck for a moment with the questions of whether I could do (it)... Is there somebody else who has more access to this than you do? Can you get to all the places you need to get to in order to play this role and satisfy it? Is it going to be something that looking back on it you're proud of, or embarrassed, or worried by? My head was filled with all those questions."

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