ET caught up with Brad Pitt at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the Toronto International Film Festival Friday, where he commented on Dr. Kristi Funk, who recently talked to ET about performing Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy.
"We had an amazing team, no question. ... Very, very grateful -- grateful for the care, grateful for her and [that] we don't, you know, have to deal with that," he said.
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But Pitt was there to stress the importance of making the film 12 Years a Slave, in which he served as a producer in addition to playing the role of Bass, a Canadian abolitionist. The film, which takes place in the pre-Civil War United States and tells the story of Solomon Northup -- a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery -- is already getting tons of Oscar buzz due to overwhelming critical acclaim.
"It's a subject matter we haven't focused on enough," Pitt said. "And I think a lot of our run-ins this year points to that -- that this is a part of our DNA that we haven't paid enough attention to. " ... It's an incredible film. It's one of those rare moments where an idea, and a storyteller, and actors come together, and give you a real visceral experience. It's a very special film. It's a must-see."
Michael Fassbender, who plays slave owner Edwin Epps, also talked about the historical importance of the film.
"It was important for me because I enjoy history as a subject, and I think this is a very important part of history -- not just American history, but I think all of our histories. Also, just working with [director Steve McQueen.] I kind of say yes to whatever he sort of offers anyway."
Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays slave owner William Ford, said that the role was especially meaningful for him since McQueen (Shame, Hunger) had not seen any of his previous work, and gave him the part based solely on his audition.
Video: The Story Behind '12 Years a Slave'
"That meant a great deal to me, and to be part of telling this incredible story -- a real story -- about oppression and slavery, and about something that is still a huge, huge issue is a very important thing to be taking part in, so I was really honored."
He also joked about his notoriously dedicated fanbase.
"What's the secret? I don't know," he said about the incredible fan reaction he receives from women. "I'm the worst person to evaluate it all."
Check out the video to hear how Chiwetel Ejiofor [Solomon Northup] feels about all the early praise for the film, and how Sarah Paulson changed gears from her television role on American Horror Story to her role as Mary Epps.
12 Years a Slave hits theaters on October 18.