(NEW YORK) — Alfre Woodard is on a mission in her latest feature Clemency.
In the new film, Woodard stars as Bernadine Williams, an embattled prison warden who becomes emotionally involved with one of the inmates on death row. Woodard tells ABC Audio that she wanted to be a part of this project to help “introduce…a voice that’s never been heard.”
“We haven’t heard about the people that we charged with carrying out the sentences,” she says, referring to the wardens who work on death row. “And they are like us. They’re like your cousins, your church members, your uncles. And so they’re not people that went around chopping up frogs when they were young.”
The film, which stars Aldis Hodge as the inmate on death row, also shines a light on exactly what these wardens deal with outside of their job.
“It’s like, OK, we’ll hear from the people who have carried out the sentence,” she explains. “They have a higher PTSD rate than the troops that we send into deployment five or six times. If they are married, they’re on their third one. It wreaks just havoc on the lives of people.”
“And it was important,” she adds, “that people could see the human cost.”
Clemency, directed by Chinonye Chukwu, is now in theaters.
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