“I loved make-believe. I was the child in the cupboard playing with my Barbies. [The Color Purple] was the first time I’d seen someone like me on screen. Whoopi Goldberg had my kind of hair and was dark like me. I thought, maybe I could do this for a living.
When I learned Steve McQueen was directing [12 Years a Slave] and Brad Pitt was producing, I thought, ‘Well, this is huge. I had no expectation of getting the role at all; it was just too out there for me to think I had a chance. So I approached the audition like a rehearsal. It was my chance to have that role for 10 minutes, and I owned it.
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. And they don’t all have to be as heavy as 12 Years a Slave. I do my best work when I feel conviction to say something through the character I play. I want to have integrity and not compromise that.” – Lupita Nyong’o
Read her full interview on DuJour.