Lupita Nyong’o feels like the entertainment industry “exploded” into her life.
The actress has had the year of a lifetime, bagging an Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave and becoming the face of Lancôme.
She’s now celebrating her first Vogue cover, appearing on the US edition of the glossy in a purple patterned dress.
Since becoming a household name, a lot has changed for the 31-year-old.
“It just feels like the entertainment industry exploded into my life. People who seemed so distant all of a sudden were right in front of me and recognizing me – before I recognized them!” she marveled to the magazine, adding that she knew things had escalated when she attended the SAG Awards in January.
“For a split second I looked behind me to see who they were flashing at—and it was me! That was, I think, the beginning of the end of my anonymity.”
Lupita was the belle of the ball at the awards ceremonies this year, taking over from 2013′s golden girl Jennifer Lawrence. The 23-year-old has become known for her loveably clumsy wardrobe malfunctions and Lupita doesn’t think she could pull off tripping on the red carpet with such aplomb.
“It’s not cute if you follow Jennifer Lawrence – it’s not cute if you’re the second one!” she drily joked about her friend and fellow actress.
“Nothing can prepare you for awards season. The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it.”
Lupita can’t believe she won an Oscar and admits that people are still “filling her in” about what happened on the night. She made a touching speech, but all she can remember is being unsure that her name had actually been called.
“[It was] very confusing, very numbing. I was just repeating my name in my head, so I didn’t know whether I had said my name or they had said my name! And then my little brother screamed, and time was suspended and it was just noise in my head,” she recalled.
The actress’ star is only getting brighter, as Lupita has been confirmed to star in Star Wars: Episode VII, which is out next year.
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