Aw, she’s so nice. Lupita Nyong’o gives an incredible performance in our favorite movie of the year ’12 Years A Slave’ so it’s wonderful to see her getting all the recognition she’s truly earned. The actress covers the latest edition of DuJour Magazine (@DuJourMedia) where she discusses adjusting to fame, her upbringing as the daughter of a politician and her acting training at Yale.
Check out a few excerpts below:
“My life changed about three weeks ago,” she says, her fingers wrapped tightly around a mug at a hushed New York City teahouse. “That’s when my schedule went from nil to this.”
This, of course, being the marathon promotional push—its finish line is on Oscar night—for 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen’s brutal account of a freeman’s life after he’s kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film, based on the true story of Solomon Northup, boasts bravura performances from an all-star cast including the British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup, McQueen muse Michael Fassbender as a sadistic plantation owner and Sarah Paulson as his equally merciless wife. But it’s Nyong’o who’s racking up award nominations and accolades for her performance as Patsey, the beautiful, damned slave who’s the object of her master’s violent lust, his wife’s rage and the audience’s empathy and affection. It’s the sort of performance that compels strangers to stop Nyong’o just to check that she’s all right.
“Lots of people come up and touch my back and want to give me a hug,” Nyong’o says. “At this point, it’s not too crazy. I let them hug me.”
That’s big… If you gained fame would you be as kind about letting a stranger embrace you?
We’re kinda big on personal space.
Hit the flip for more photos and excerpts.
Photo Credit: Steven Pan
The opinion that Nyong’o is indeed extraordinary—at press time she’d won a Hollywood Film Award and been nominated for a Gotham Award—might weigh heavy on a different type of woman. But for the measured, self-possessed Nyong’o, who grew up in Nairobi with a politician father and a family in the spotlight, fame doesn’t feel entirely unfamiliar.
“When you’re a public figure, people have an ownership of you in a way,” she says. “People would interrupt our dinners all the time to have a moment with my father, and we’d understand because it was their one moment to have with him. I grew up observing that dynamic.”
However, it’s a bit different when the admirers paying their respects are themselves members of rarefied circles.
“Actors will come up to me and they look so familiar—it’s killing me because I can’t remember,” Nyong’o says with a laugh. “I spend all this time trying to place people, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the woman from Luther, not the woman who did my hair last week.’ Some people have watched the film, so they acknowledge me, but I know I’ve never met them. Or I think I haven’t. It’s quite bizarre.”
You can read the rest HERE
More photos on the flip along with the complete “Hollywood Reporter” roundtable that Lupita did with Oprah and some other notables.