WATCH: Michael Fassbender in latest Oscar-buzz movie 12 Years a Slave
Irish actors Michael Fassbender and Ruth Negga both feature in the upcoming American slavery drama, 12 Years a Slave, with a star-studded cast.
Director Steve McQueen, who worked with Fassbender on his career-defining roles in Hunger and Shame,
The German-born actor, who was raised in Kerry, had to film several violent scenes as the sociopathic slave owner, including a rape and whipping scene.
"For me, the rape scene was most difficult to film and probably the most difficult to watch was the whipping scene," he said.
"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."
The film recently won ton honours at the Toronto International Film Festival, which has recently become the early indicator of Oscar success.
And the Killarney native also praised his co-star Brad Pitt for his performance in the film, in which he has a small role as a Canadian carpenter.
"Brad is a very generous artist and a very generous human being," he added.
"He's one of those people within the industry who encourages and champions new talent, and so when he saw Hunger, I believe that's when he and Steve met and he said to Steve, 'I want to do something, is there something out there you'd like to make?
"I'd like to be a part of it.!
"Because he knows we need more filmmakers like Steve out there making these kind of films, which a lot of the time don't see the light of day because people think the material is too difficult."
Former Love/Hate actress Ruth Negga, who is dating actor Dominic Cooper, has a smaller role in the film, but her involvement is expected to catapult her up the Hollywood ladder.