Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti And Sarah Paulson Join Twelve Years A Slave

By Kristy Puchko 2012-06-05 13:27:27discussion comments
Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti And Sarah Paulson Join Twelve Years A Slave image
Writer-director Steve McQueen is driving us into an anticipatory frenzy with each new cast announcement on his next effort, Twelve Years a Slave. Already this follow-up to his critically heralded drama Shame has the filmmaker's muse Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, the magnificent Chiwetel Ejiofor, indie ingénue Adepero Oduye, and Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch on board, to bring to life the incredible true story of Solomon Northup, a black man in 1840s America who was abducted and forced into slavery for twelve years. And now Deadline reports Garret Dillahunt has signed on, and Variety's got word that Sarah Paulson and Paul Giamatti have also joined the increasingly incredible cast.

Giamatti has committed to play Freeman, a businessman who deals slaves in New Orleans. Paulson has scored the enviable role of Fassbender's wife, and Dillahunt will play Armsby, a field hand who works alongside the film's protagonist, played by Ejiofor. While each is an exciting addition to the cast, I'm most intrigued by Dillahunt's inclusion.

If you don't know his name, you probably aren't watching the goofy yet insightful sitcom Raising Hope, and really that's your loss. But before he was the dopey granddad Burt Chance, Dillahunt was creeping audiences out playing not one, but two villains on HBO's gritty and gripping Western drama Deadwood. In season one, Dillahunt—with the help of some face-marring prosthetics—played Jack McCall, the infamous killer of Wild Bill Hickok. After that character was run out of the dangerous mining town, Dillahunt—in an unusual but inspired casting move on creator David Milch's part—returned as Francis Wolcott, a creepy geologist with a deadly fetish.

But before he could be eternally cast as a scoundrel, Dillahunt surfaced in No Country for Old Men, playing the eager deputy Wendell who memorably squeals, "Whoa, Sheriff! We just missed him!" upon discovering Anton Chigurh's recently drunk glass of milk. This softer portrayal, one of a well-meaning but foolish man, proved the perfect transition to Raising Hope. In short, Dillahunt has already shown his remarkable range, which makes him a fascinating addition to any cast, as well as a tantalizing wild card. But whether Dillahunt drives for us to love him or hate him here, you can bet that his will be a powerful performance.

Twelve Years a Slave will begin shooting in Louisiana late June.
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