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Lupita Nyong`o
Also known as: Lupita Amondi Nyong`o
Actor • Voice Cast
Born: March 1, 1983 in Mexico City, Mexico
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About
An Academy Award winner, Lupita Nyong`o is an international actress, director, and producer whose hard hitting performance as Patsey in Steve McQueen`s 12 Years a Slave, won hearts worldwide. She was also the lead in MTV`s famous series Shuga, which was a story based on a group of youngsters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Early Life
Born in Mexico City, Mexico to Kenyan parents: Peter Anyang` Nyong`o, a political senator, and Dorothy, Nyong`o`s parents were in political exile during her birth. By the time she turned one, they shifted to their homeland in Nairobi, Kenya. In Nairobi, Nyong`o`s father was appointed a professor at the University of Nairobi, while her mother took a leadership position with the Africa Cancer Foundation. Having paticipated in theatrical plays since childhood, Nyong`o always had a keen interest towards acting and at a very young age essayed Juliet in the play Romeo and Juliet. During her teen years, she was sent back to Mexico to learn Spanish and in 2003, Nyong`o completed her graduation from Hampshire College, Massachusetts in film and theater studies.

After reutrning back to Nairobi during one of her summer vacations, she joined the crew of the drama film Constant Gardener. Here, she met Ralph Fiennies who inspired her to take up acting as a career. She then worked on Mira Nair`s The Namesake, and Salvatore Stabile`s Where God Left His Shoes (2007), as a production assistant.

In 2009, she donned the hat of a filmmaker by directing , producing, and editing a documentary film In My Genes, which showcased the story of a group of Kenyans suffering from Albinism. She followed this with a starring role in the TV series Shuga, an MTV, Africa and UNICEF initiative, the series was intstrumental in creating awareness about HIV/AIDS in Africa. She then went to Yale School of Drama, in 2011, to study acting and won the Herschel Williams Prize for "acting students with outstanding ability".

Movie Career
Even before completing her graduating from Yale, Nyong`o landed a role in the 2013 period drama 12 Years A Slave. Directed by Steve McQueen and produced by Brad Pitt, the film is based on the real life account of Solomon Northup`s novel by the same name. This biographical drama follows the story of an African-American man, Solomon, who was sold into slavery. Nyong`o portrayed the part of the exploited slave Patsey, who befreinds Solomon, in spite being ruthlessely abused by her master, and his wife. Her debut role earned her the 2014 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and catapulated her to instant stardom.

Continuing her cinematic journey, she starred in the thriller film Non-Stop, alongside Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Michelle Dockery. Although the movie received mixed reviews from the critics, it was a box office success and Nyong`o was once again applauded for her role. Her next feature was the big-budget, multi-starrer Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. The movie went onto be the biggest hit of 2015 and for her performance as the CGI agent, Nyong`o was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress at the 42nd Saturn Awards and Best Virtual Performance at the MTV Movie Awards, 2016.

She next voiced Raksha, a female Indian wolf in Jon Favreau`s fantasy adventure film The Jungle Book, in 2016. Produced by Walt Disney Picture, the movie features Neel Sethi in the lead and stars the voices Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong`o, Idris Elba and Scarlett Johansson. The Jungle Book opened to great reviews from the audiences and critics alike and went onto becoma a huge blockbuster worldwide. Nyong`o`s second release in 2016 includes Mira Nair`s drama film Queen of Katwe. Co-starring David Oyelowo, alongside her, the movie was first screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was applauded for its content and direction. Her performance of a dual role in Us (2019), a psychological horror movie, was highly praised. Other 2019 releases include Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Amid the movies, in 2015, she appeared in Public Theater`s Off-Broadway production Eclipsed. The play depicts the story of five Liberain women during civil war and for her character portryal, Nyong`o earned a Tony Award nomination in the category of Best Leading Actress.

Peers & More
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Boyd Holbrook
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Katherine Waterston
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Popular Movies
View All
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The 355
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Us
Black Panther (3D)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (3D)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Exclusively For Women)
Queen of Katwe
The Jungle Book
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (3D)

Did You Know? (3)

  • Lupita Nyong'o became the first Kenyan and first Mexican-born to win an Oscar, and the first African actress to win Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
  • Nyong'o was listed as the World's Most Beautiful Women by People Magazine, in 2014.
  • The N and G in her surname are actually silent.
  • Personal Quotes (4)

  • "In her Oscar acceptance speech, she said, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind every child that no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”"
  • "“I got teased and taunted about my skin. My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.”"
  • "“I realize that beauty was not a thing I could acquire or consume. It was something that I just had to be.”"
  • "“Beautiful people have many advantages, but so do friendly people...I think beauty is an expression of love”"
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