Lupita Nyong’o: Fans own stars

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o thinks famous people are “owned” by their fans.

The 30-year-old actress is the star of the moment thanks to her turn as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, which has bagged her an Oscar nomination.

She’s built up a big fan base – something which isn’t too foreign for Lupita as she grew up in Nairobi with a famous politician father.

“When you’re a public figure, people have an ownership of you in a way,” she mused to dujour.com. “People would interrupt our dinners all the time to have a moment with my father, and we’d understand because it was their one moment to have with him. I grew up observing that dynamic.”

Competing against Lupita for a best supporting actress Academy Award are Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Sally Hawkins and June Squibb.

The Kenyan-Mexican star has a lot of backing from others in the industry, which she can’t quite get her head around.

“Actors will come up to me and they look so familiar – it’s killing me because I can’t remember,” she laughed. “I spend all this time trying to place people, and it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s the woman from [TV show]Luther, not the woman who did my hair last week.’ Some people have watched the film, so they acknowledge me, but I know I’ve never met them. Or I think I haven’t. It’s quite bizarre.”

12 Years a Slave was the first feature film for Lupita, who now also stars alongside Liam Neeson in action movie Non-Stop.

She should be celebrating her success, but the star is already thinking towards the future.

“That’s one of the concerns when you get lauded for something – can I do it again?” she worried. “One thing I learned at school was the value of failure, because once you fail you can get up and do it again.”

12 Years a Slave tells the harrowing true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was sold into slavery in 1841.

Lupita is glad that his story is being told.

“I’m really fulfilled right now by the traction this film is getting. It was made to be seen, and that’s what’s happening – America is engaging with it and being moved and changed by it. It’s really rewarding to be a part of that. That’s more important to me than any award,” she smiled.

© Cover Media