Lupita Nyong'o

(Lupita Amondi Nyong'o)

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o
  • Born: March 1, 1983
  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Profession: Actress









Quote Topics Cited
All throughout filming '12 Years a Slave,' there was a focus like no other. Everyone took ownership of this film and gave their all.
As actors, you become an expert at starting over.
As human beings, we aren't as individual as we'd like to believe we are. And I think that's what makes acting possible. Despite the fact that I have not experienced something, I have it in my human capacity to imagine it and to put myself in someone else's shoes, and to take someone else's circumstances personally.
As human beings, what makes us able to empathize with people is a connection that is not necessarily understood mentally.
Being a part of '12 Years a Slave' has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. Life
Being considered a fashion star is wonderful. It's definitely a bonus thing.
Drama is my sweet spot, but the thing about being an actor is that you want to do a variety of things. I definitely love fantasy and would want to be in a fantasy project. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Every single laundromat, grocery store, everything is called 'Lupita' in Mexico.
Growing up, I had really bad skin. I had a skin disorder. Yes, I did. And my mother went to great lengths to try to find something to remedy it. I remember she took a trip to Madagascar and came back with all these alternative, medicinal herbs and stuff. They didn't smell so good, but I think they worked some magic.
Home is where my family is. Families, Children & Parenting
Human beings have an instinct for freedom. Freedom & Liberty
I always envisioned working in film and in theater. Theater and film are not, they're not in any way substitutable. What I love about theater is so different from what I love about film, and I enjoy the craft of both. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I always love to learn new things. That's the reason I like being an actor. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I am thrilled beyond words that The Academy has recognized my performance in Steve McQueen's '12 Years a Slave,' and I am deeply proud to be in the company of my fellow nominees.
I can speak of actors that I love. I love Cate Blanchett, Viola Davis, her tenacity. I love Charlize Theron. She's so surprising and so exhilarating, the kinds of projects she takes on. Marion Cotillard as well. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I come from a very close class. I lucked out because drama schools are often very competitive... I have fourteen classmates.
I definitely intend to create my own work in the future so that we don't have to keep saying, We don't have work for black women.' Women ;Future ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I definitely love fantasy and would want to be in a fantasy project. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I didn't know any successful actors in Kenya, so I felt like I could get away with going to college to study film more easily than I could with saying, 'I want to be an actor.' That's what I did.
I discovered that joy is not the negation of pain, but rather acknowledging the presence of pain and feeling happiness in spite of it. Happiness & Unhappiness
I do my best work when I feel conviction to say something through the character I play. Always I want to have integrity and not compromise that. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I feel privileged that people are looking up to me, and perhaps a dream will be born because of my presence.
I give myself homework when I have an audition. I give myself goals, and that's how I check how I'm doing. It can be something simple like 'listen,' or 'find your feet.' And then afterward it's an assessment, so in a way it's not about booking the job or not. It's about what I learned as an actor about that character.
I grew up in a world where the majority of people were black, so that wasn't the defining quality of anyone. When you're describing someone, you don't start out with 'he's black, he's white.'
I grew up in Nairobi, which is the capital of Kenya, so it's hustle and bustle, and there's always something going on.
I grew up in the limelight and being the child of someone famous. So my relationship with fame is not bedazzled. Fame
I grew up watching foreign programs - American, English, Mexican, and very little Kenyan. 'The Color Purple' was the first time I saw people who looked like me. Time
I had moved back to Kenya after undergrad, and I went through this crisis of, 'What is my life going to be about?' Life
I have a very ostrich mentality. I feel like I have my head in the sand so no one can see me.
I have the opportunity to learn about the fashion world, and I appreciate it as an art form... But I never want it to take over my acting. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
I haven't always been gluten-free.
I learned at Yale, one of the biggest lessons was to learn how special I am and therefore how totally unspecial I am. I was special among everyone else who was special. The fact that we're all so individual and that's what makes us special.
I love filmmaking, but I decided to go to drama school because I thought that when I'm 60 and looking back on my life, if acting hadn't been a part of it, I would hate myself. Life ;Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I loved make-believe. I was the child in the cupboard playing with my Barbies.
I never understood who all those people are behind the actors! When you see them on the red carpet on TV, you go, 'Why does that person need such a large entourage?' And then you realize that every single person there has a role to play.
I never, in my wildest dreams, could I have thought that the first role I get out of school would lead to an Oscar nomination.
I spent some time back in Mexico at 16 because my parents thought it would be prudent for me to learn Spanish, because I held a Mexican passport. Time
I thought I was going to school to be other people, but really, what I learned was to be myself - accepting myself, my strengths and weaknesses.
I thrive on structure. I find my freedom in structure. Freedom & Liberty
I want to be uncomfortable - acting is uncomfortable.
I was born in Mexico because my father was teaching at a school in Mexico City. I was born during the third year he was there. And when I was 16, I returned to Mexico to learn Spanish.
I was raised in Kenya, and I always wanted to be an actor from when I was really, really little, but the first time I thought it was something that I could make a career of was when I watched 'The Color Purple.' I think I was nine, maybe, and I saw people that looked like me - Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah. Time
I went to an all-boys high school, and they accepted girls in only the two A.P. classes.
I would love to have a career that's governed by the material; I always want to be part of stories that I feel are worthwhile. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
I'm a crybaby.
I'm interested in generating work for myself. I have trouble with this waiting-for-the-phone-to-ring lifestyle, especially after drama school, which was so creatively fulfilling. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I'm pretty awesome at making salad dressings.
I'm still trying to get over the fact that my name is being mentioned with people like Brad Pitt.
In the madness, you have to find calm.
It's great to have something to dress up for. You know, I spent three years in slacks at drama school, so now I like putting a dress on.
It's only when you risk failure that you discover things. When you play it safe, you're not expressing the utmost of your human experience. Failure
It's so funny, you go to acting school thinking you're going to learn how to be other people, but really it taught me how to be myself. Because it's in understanding yourself deeply that you can lend yourself to another person's circumstances and another person's experience. Humor
I've loved the opportunity to learn about the fashion world and appreciate it as an art form, and I look forward to my continued education, but I never want it to take over my acting. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Makeup isn't something I've worn a lot of in my life. Life
My conscious life has all been in Kenya, and it's my point of reference. But going back to Mexico was very formative. Life
My father used to act in high school. He was in a production of 'Othello;' I don't know who he played, but it wasn't Othello. He would talk about it, though, and read Shakespeare to me.
My father was a professor of political science and also a young politician fighting for democracy in Kenya, and when things got ugly, he went into political exile in Mexico. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
My father was a professor of political science and also a young politician fighting for democracy in Kenya, and when things got ugly, he went into political exile in Mexico. Then I moved back to Kenya shortly after I turned one, and I grew up in Kenya. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
My immediate family was always very supportive. It was my own fear of the rest of the world not accepting me, the rest of our society not accepting my wish to be an actor. Society ;Families, Children & Parenting
My mother talked about the stories I used to spin as a child of three, before I started school. I would tell this story about what school I went to and what uniform I wore and who I talked to at lunchtime and what I ate, and my mother was like, 'This girl does not even go to school.'
My parents gave me a Mexican name. In our culture, we are named after the events of the day.
One of the reasons why I went to the Yale School of Drama is because I felt that I was acting off of instinct, but sometimes that is not reliable. When you're not feeling it, what do you do? So, going to grad school was about getting the tools to just use my instrument to the best of my ability.
Part of being an artist is that you are always concerned you don't have what it takes. It... keeps us honest.
Personally, I don't ever want to depend on makeup to feel beautiful.
Ralph Fiennes was a pivotal influence on me. He asked me, 'So what is it you want to do?' I very shyly, timidly admitted that I wanted to be an actor. He sighed, and he said, 'Lupita, only be an actor if you feel there is nothing else in the world you want to do - only do it if you feel you cannot live without acting.'
Slavery is something that is all too often swept under the carpet.
Slavery is something that is all too often swept under the carpet. The shame doesn't even belong to us, but we still experience it because we're a part of the African race. If it happened to one, it happened to all. We carry that burden.
Steve McQueen is a genius. And I think that word is overused, but I think with Steve it's rightly used. He's a genius.
The first time I cut all my hair off was when I was 19. I just got fed up going to the salon every week. I'd had enough! On a whim, it was off. It's low-maintenance. Time
The Hollywood Film Awards were really stressful. It was the biggest press line I'd ever seen.
The muscles you flex in theater are muscles that you really need. I must always find a way to get back there. It's irreplaceable.
The set of '12 Years a Slave' was an extremely joyous one! We all recognized that we were making a powerful, necessary and beautiful film, and we weren't about doing it without that sense of responsibility, and we recognized that we needed each other to tell this story. We also knew we needed to hold each other up as we told the story.
There is something about acting that's mysterious and magical because there is only so much I can do to prepare, and then I have to just let go and breathe and believe that it will come through.
There's always a sense of newness with acting, because every role, you come to every role fresh.
To this day, I love eating steak tacos before going to the red carpets. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
We, as human beings, have the capacity for extreme cruelty.
What's becoming very obvious to me is that fashion is art. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
When I was younger, I was almost too afraid to admit that I wanted to be an actor.
When I was younger, I was almost too afraid to admit that I wanted to be an actor. I didn't know any successful actors in Kenya, so I felt like I could get away with going to college to study film more easily than I could with saying, 'I want to be an actor.' That's what I did.
Whoopi Goldberg looked like me, she had hair like mine, she was dark like me. I'd been starved for images of myself. I'd grown up watching a lot of American TV. There was very little Kenyan material, because we had an autocratic ruler who stifled our creative expression.

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