In the spring of 2012, Lupita Nyong’o graduated from the Yale School of Drama. Then she was cast in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave — and her life changed almost overnight.
The Kenyan actress and filmmaker has won numerous accolades for her powerful performance as Patsey, a slave who faces unfathomable cruelty at the hands of both a plantation owner (Michael Fassbender) and his wife (Sarah Paulson). And as of this morning, she’s also a Golden Globe nominee for Best Supporting Actress. How does it feel? “I haven’t yet found a suitable word in the English language that captures how it feels,” Nyong’o tells EW. “It’s overwhelming. It’s exciting. It’s humbling. It’s a lot.”
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