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Fortunately, I come from an activist mother, so I didn’t have to rely on the history books. The history books teach us nothing about the Underground Railroad aside from Harriet Tubman. So I knew more about it but, obviously, I had to dig deeper and expand my knowledge and do a lot of research once I took this project on. I had, like, a good two months to research before we started shooting, which isn’t a lot, and I continued it throughout the five months of us shooting.

Jurnee Smollett