Lupita Nyong’o struggled to overcome her “self-doubt” while filming 12 Years a Slave.
The 31-year-old actress stars as Patsey in the Oscar-nominated film about a free black man sold into slavery in the US, and got a major confidence boost after taking home the Best Supporting Female honor at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards.
But Lupita admits she was plagued by negative thoughts throughout filming because she wasn’t convinced she could pull off the part.
“For me – this being my first film and working with actors and [director] Steve [McQueen] that I had grown to really deeply respect and admire – for me, my first and hardest thing to get over was my self-doubt,” she told Life & Style magazine.
Lupita has more than the Spirit Award to celebrate. She is also nominated at Sunday’s Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
With her career on track for Hollywood gold, she’s finally learned to live in the moment and to have more faith in her abilities.
“There was a lot of pain to Patsey but also so much beauty,” Lupita explained.
“The one thing that I’ve taken away as a lesson is to be present. It’s the one thing that has gotten me through this crazy period of time,” she said.
Lupita earlier inspired audiences at the Spirit Awards with a touching speech. The actress talked about how her mother would drive her to auditions when she was young. And she can’t believe she’s become a part of such a moving project, which made it to theatres against all odds.
“Growing up in Kenya I really didn’t understand the difference between independent and not independent film,” she said. “And then in college I realized, ‘Oh indie film is where stuff actually happens, stuff that matters.'”
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