Taran Killam ‘Really Liked’ SNL’s 12 Years a Slave Sketch

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Taran Killam. Photo: PAUL BRUINOOGE/Patrick McMullan

Taran Killam, who has an unexpected dramatic role in 12 Years a Slave, didn't expect SNL to spoof his own movie — the subject matter is too serious, he told us a few weeks ago during the New York Film Festival. And if it did come up, he thought, he might recuse himself; no awkward impersonations of his 12 Years co-star Brad Pitt here. But then this Saturday's episode featured a sketch called "12 Days Not a Slave," which had a bit part for Killam as Jasper, someone from Cecil's former plantation. "You never know on that job!" Killan laughed when we ran into him at Celebrity Charades, an annual benefit for the LAByrinth Theater Company. So how did he reconcile the parody? "It's not mocking," Killam said. "At first, I was like, 'Is this weird? But more than anything, it just borrows the title and sets it 25 years in the future [from the film]. So that's why I said to myself, 'I was hired on SNL first; I'll do whatever they want me to do.'" Plus, despite the mixed reviews, Killam appreciated what he called a "very funny, smart take" on a difficult subject. "I really liked it," he told us. "I thought they did a good job."