At my Mom’s Passover seder this year, a Fifth Question, with a personal touch, will occur to me: How did the liberal, openly gay son of a Holocaust survivor come to play a white, heterosexual, racist, Christian, slave-owning plantation owner in a major Hollywood film?

The answer gives me a personal, more-modern insight into the ancient Festival of Freedom.

Like many children of survivors, I was shaped by my family’s Holocaust background.

As a veteran character actor, I was blessed with a role in the groundbreaking 2016 film, “The Birth of a Nation,” the heroic, heartbreaking and violent story of Nat Turner, a slave who in 1831 led an uprising against white plantation owners.

The film is the brainchild of actor-director-producer Nate Parker.

I play Joseph Randall, a slave owner and sexual predator. An actor best known for comedy, I saw the role as a dream come true, a chance to help bring this story to the screen.

Although it might seem counterintuitive, I was born to play this part. It gave me a different perspective on the experience of slavery we discuss at the seder table. When I arrive at my mom’s apartment for dinner, my heart will be full. My recent acting experience will change the way I celebrate the holiday — while my ancestors were slaves in Egypt, I will remind myself that, on screen, I was a slave owner just before the Civil War.

Actor-comedian Jason right with actor-director Nate Parker, said it was a challenge for a liberal Jew to play the role of a racist Southerner.

Instead of being powerless, I held the reins of power.

Instead of being the victim of cruelty, I was the perpetrator.

Instead of being whipped, I held the whip.

Folks ask me, was it hard to play someone who does these heinous crimes? Of course it was, I tell them. I read the script once, to understand this man, a product of his times, dead inside — and never picked it up again. Otherwise, 2016 liberal Jason Stuart would judge 1831 racist Joseph Randall and not be able to fully play this role.

Had I re-read the script, I would be reminded of the stories my father had told me of childhood horrors in World War II Poland, of how his mother’s best friend’s parents were shot right in front of her, of how his mother forced her immediate family to flee their home because the Nazis were coming, and how the rest of the family was murdered.

I heard these stories growing up in Los Angeles. My dad, an immigrant, could barely spell my name. My grandmother learned to speak English by watching television.

Like many children of survivors, I was shaped by my family’s Holocaust background.

Most of the people in our neighborhood were Jews; I knew little of other peoples’ lives.

When the first black family moved into the neighborhood, I became very good friends with Cecil, the son. His mom was a teacher; his dad, a principal. Both very well educated and smart, they introduced me to books.

Because the Jewish people by whom I was surrounded were either very poor or had fled the Holocaust with very little education, I grew up thinking that black people were more educated than Jews.

The night Octavia Spencer won the 2011 Best Supporting Actress Oscar … I was sitting at home with one of the kids I mentor; the kid asked me why the audience was giving her a standing ovation…

Because she’s black, overweight and over 40, I said.

In later years, my worldview, and acting opportunities, expanded.

Ten years ago, I had a part in the film “A Day Without a Mexican,” about what would happen if one day all the Mexican people disappeared. A few years later, I was cast in “Love is Strange,” about gay seniors, health care rights and gay marriage. Last year, I was in “Tangerine,” about a day in the life of two transgender working girls.

I feel that my deep-seated belief that all people — including blacks, Latinos and LGBT community — deserve equal rights, brought me these roles. As a double minority — I came out as gay in 1993 — I developed a special sensitivity to other peoples’ stories, which I try to bring to these roles.

All these films were about people trying to survive in a world that is not always kind. So familiar to what I have had to deal with.

The night Octavia Spencer won the 2011 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Minny Jackson in “The Help,” I was sitting at home with one of the kids I mentor; the kid asked me why the audience was giving her a standing ovation, when no other Oscar winner got one that night.

Because she’s black, overweight and over 40, I said.

Whenever I am at a seder, I feel the presence of my dad, grandparents and other family members who have passed away. I feel their pain and know they would be proud of me for playing Joseph Randall with honesty, for being part of a film that will be a part of cinema history.

Being in the film changed me forever. It made me appreciate the freedom that we celebrate on Passover. I understand that the freedom that we have fought for is not something to ever take for granted.

Jason Stuart  lives in Hollywood, Calif., and works as an actor and stand-up comedian. Most recently, he performed in Judd Apatow’s “Love” on Netflix. “The Birth of a Nation” is available online.

JasonStuart.com