Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o covers GLAMOUR’s “Women Of The Year 2014” issue where she opens up about “the Lupita Effect” and how her success has CHANGED Hollywood.
In addition to landing the cover of the magazine’s “Women of the Year 2014” issue, and sitting for her own interview, some of Lupita’s most famous fans explained why she is a “gift” to Hollywood. Here are the highlights:
On how her life has changed:
This is actually a conversation I look forward to having in 10 years, when all of this is behind me and I have some real perspective on what happened—because right now I’m still adjusting. I guess I feel catapulted into a different place; I have a little whiplash…. 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. I have to be aware that my kinesphere may be larger than I want it to be.
I’ve had somebody say, “I want you at my wedding, but I don’t want you to pull focus, so wear jeans!” Losing my anonymity is something that’s proving to be very challenging…. It’s good for your soul to walk around unnoticed; there’s so much you can’t do when everybody knows who you are. And I so miss those little things.
On winning the Oscar and life after:
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! I felt numb—dazed and confused. I remember feeling light—weightless. More like limbo than cloud nine. At first I was like, This is my statue; nobody gets to touch it. And by midnight I was like, Please, someone, take this statue; it’s too heavy! So I gave it to my brother, and he went off with it.
There was so much going on! It was overwhelming. That’s the thing: You win an Oscar, and immediately people ask how you feel. So you don’t have time to actually feel anything because you have to generate a response. And then some of the feelings you have are so intimate and visceral, words don’t really do them justice.
On success and personal responsibility:
With success comes more responsibility, a larger size of existence, which is uncomfortable…I feel a responsibility to myself and my parents and the people whose love has gotten me this far—people who were in my life before fame. That’s where I get my sense of self. It’s deadly for anyone to take on that role of a deity; it’s not sustainable. I’ve got tons of flaws. Call my mother—she’ll tell you! She keeps it real. Sometimes you don’t want to hear the truth; she’ll tell it to you out of love.
On “the Lupita Effect”
I giggle. I just heard it for the first time. 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—that she can… Until I saw people who looked like me, doing the things I wanted to, I wasn’t so sure it was a possibility. Seeing Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah in The Color Purple, it dawned on me: “Oh—I could be an actress!” We plant the seed of possibility.
Actress Emma Thompson “As soon as Lupita appeared on the scene, I thought, This is a woman I need to photobomb. She’s also an astounding actress. Oh, and a top human.”