BATD ON Jan 20, 2014 AT 12:57 pm

Lupita Nyong’o

If you aren’t familiar with Lupita Nyong’o, take note – she’s about to become a household name. The 30-year-old Kenyan actress has earned numerous award nominations for her breakout role in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, and she’s also turning heads on every red carpet with her elegant fashion choices.

A frontrunner in the upcoming Academy Award race for Best Supporting Actress, Nyong’o’s work as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave is only her first credit as an actor in a feature film. She’s proved her talents in writing, producing and directing as well, and even did some stage work as a student at the Yale School of Drama.

Nyong’o was named Best Supporting Actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles Saturday night. In her acceptance speech, she talked about how she’s still adjusting to her celebrity status:

“My dad, he was the first person I called when I got this role,” said Nyong’o. “I said, ‘Daddy, do you know Brad Pitt? I’m going to be in a movie with him.’”

As a nominee at last week’s Golden Globe awards, Nyong’o had her own fun on the red carpet by making a checklist of fellow celebrities to meet at the event and posting the pictures to her Instagram account. Leonardo DiCaprio was at the top of her list, and Nyong’o admitted that she fell in love with him when she was a young girl – just like the rest of us!


While her focus is on acting, Nyong’o has emerged as quite the fashionista, with her outfits and elegant styles making best-dressed lists everywhere. We’ll be seeing a lot more of her offscreen, as well, because she has just been chosen as one of the faces of Miu Miu’s spring campaign.

So what’s next for Lupita? She has already completed her role in the upcoming thriller Non-Stop, which also features Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery. The film is set to release in the United States on Feb. 28. As for other projects, Nyong’o said in an interview that she would love to expand her acting variety by working on a fantasy. With so much talent and acclaim already, this won’t be the last we see of Lupita. We can’t wait to hear about her next project!

7 Things You May Not Know About Lupita Nyong’o:
- Her nationality is Kenyan, but Nyong’o was actually born in Mexico when her family was in political exile. She moved back to Kenya with her family at the age of one.
- Nyong’o comes from a big family – she is the second of six children.
- In 2009, she wrote, produced and directed the documentary In My Genes, which chronicles the treatment of the albino population in Kenya.
- Her father is a member of the Kenyan parliament and has had a long career as a political figure.
- Lupita lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her younger brother.
- She’s multilingual! Nyong’o speaks English, Luo, Spanish, Swahili and some Italian.
- When she was 19, she shaved off her hair. The cropped hairstyle has now become her signature look.

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