Lupita Nyong’o poses for the October issue of VOGUE magazine. The 33-year-old beauty travels to her native East Africa, and welcomes the publication into her family’s village in Kenya for the shoot.
Lupita is starring in the upcoming Mira Nair-directed film, Queen of Katwe, and inside the issue, she talked her character, as well as her admiration for the script.
“To play a mother of four in Uganda, a formidable mother who has so much working against her, was so compelling to me,” she explains. “It wasn’t something I thought I’d be asked to do. The fact that it was based on a true story, an uplifting story out of Africa. . . . [she inhales and shakes her head]. Oh, my goodness, all my dreams were coming true in that script.”
VOGUE notes that in April 2014, a Hollywood magazine’s analysis of “post-Oscar Lupita,” suggested that her future prospects were complicated and her dark skin challenged an industry predisposed to light.
“Would Beyoncé be who she is if she didn’t look like she does?” asked a talent agent named Tracy Christian. “Being lighter-skinned, more people can look at her image and see themselves in her. In Lupita’s case I think she has two-and-half, three years. If she can find a franchise, a big crossover film, or if she’s cast by a significant filmmaker, then she’s golden, she’ll have carved out a unique path for herself.”
When addressing the talent agent’s comment, Lupita insists she had to tune them out: “I can’t think like that.”
“I have to deafen my ears to that Christian lady,” she says. “She is looking at me as part of the cultural tapestry. I am living and breathing. That person is not considering what I had for breakfast, how that is sitting in my stomach, and why I didn’t do well with that audition. I can’t think like that.”
[There’s a silence]. “I cannot run away from who I am and my complexion or the larger society and how they may view that. I realize that with what I shared at the Essence awards.”
The 12 Years a Slave star also opens up about wanting to use her platform to create opportunities for people of color.
“There are certain cards that have been dealt me that I take on,” she says. “I want to create opportunities for other people of color because I’m fortunate enough to have a platform to do that. That is why Eclipsed and even Queen of Katwe are so important, to change the narrative, offer a new lens on African identity.”
Read more on Lupita and view more pics at Vogue.com.