Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o has been on a roll in 2014; in February, the actress won an Oscar for “12 Years a Slave” and has subsequently been popping up on “best dressed” and “most beautiful” lists ever since, in addition to becoming a beauty ambassador for Lancome and landing a role in the upcoming “Star Wars” reboot by JJ Abrams.
Nevertheless, in her interview with Glamour magazine, she tells the magazine the attention she’s received has been overwhelming. “Right now I’m still adjusting. I guess I feel catapulted into a different place; I have a little whiplash,” she said. “I did have a dream to be an actress, but I didn’t think about being famous. And I haven’t yet figured out how to be a celebrity; that’s something I’m learning, and I wish there were a course on how to handle it.”
She couldn’t even imagine what winning the Oscar would be like, she observed.
“I don’t think I will ever be able to really articulate how bizarre it was to hear my name at the Academy Awards. I’d watched in my pajamas the year before!” she said. “I felt numb — dazed and confused. I remember feeling light — weightless. More like limbo than cloud nine.”
Nyong’o, who was born in Mexico of Kenyan parents, mentions that she didn’t know success on this level would be possible for a woman with darker skin. For her, Oprah Winfrey wasn’t just a role model but a “reference point,” and seeing Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg in “The Color Purple” was key to her belief that she could become successful.
She hopes she can have the same effect on people who see her.
“I’ve heard people talk about images in popular culture changing, and that makes me feel great, because it means that the little girl I was, once upon a time, has an image to instill in her that she is beautiful, that she is worthy,” she said. “Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to, I wasn’t so sure it was a possibility.”
The December issue of Glamour will be available on newsstands November 11.
article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)