Paul Dano’s portrayal of Jonathan Tibeats was among the best in the intense period drama “12 Years a Slave,” which follows a free northern Black man as he is abducted and sold into slavery. Tibeats was a cruel plantation overseer who frequently beat the slaves under his care for his own delight. Because Solomon (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was intelligent and confident, he made his life—and the life of the main character—a miserable misery.
Dano said, “Individuals who are abused frequently abuse their animals, and people who lack authority take it out somewhere else.” “I would suppose that would be a great humiliation to watch a slave get respect when you are not respected,” the slave said of a master who treats a slave who is more educated than he is with deference. The plantation owner Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch) made the decision to sell Solomon to another plantation since he believed Tibeats would eventually kill him if he stayed due to Tibeats’ growing hatred for Solomon in the movie.
When taking on the role of the character, it was crucial for Dano to fully grasp his motivations and the reasons behind everything he did. He told Collider this, so “Why was he so furious all the time, or what makes this individual so angry or spiteful? You simply start attempting to uncover every stone. Once you feel like you are carrying a complete human being, you are free to let the scene unfold.”
Embracing a truly vile character
Dano was heavily taxed by playing Tibeats, who committed frequent, horrifying acts of violent bigotry and used numerous racial slurs. As he clarified: “I received the script. I read it. Naturally, when I read the script, my immediate thought was, “S**t, you want to assist.””
Dano realised the significance of putting his feelings aside in order to embrace a realistic, compelling portrayal, much like the other white actors in the movie who had to play truly repugnant individuals. He said, “I don’t want to treat someone like that. “You enter and complete it there. You’re nuts.” Dano accepted the challenge and delivered one of the most hateful characters from a movie in recent memory. We know Solomon is digging his own grave as he beats Tibeats with his own whip, yet we still pull for him to keep going because the guy is simply so bad at the scene where Solomon snaps and beats up Tibeats.
It helps that Dano, by his own admission, has a very punchable face, which may be why someone beats his character in almost every movie in which he appears to the ground. But Dano’s acceptance of illusion is what matters most for his acting career:
“You had to delude yourself. I left all that at the door when I showed up on set. Singing a song in front of black men dressed in rags was not what I daydream about doing! That’s something you somehow delude yourself and go do it.”
This mindset is what enables him to capture so many distinctive, enduring individuals, many of whom are profoundly unpleasant to witness in action. We can always rely on Dano to play a credible creep given his previous roles, such as Alex in “Prisoners” or the Riddler in “The Batman.”