Lupita Nyong'o Poster

Quotes (15)

  • [on retaining overnight the elaborate scarring makeup on her back, incurred in the brutal whipping scene with the sadistic plantation owner] They were haunting. I could only sleep on my belly. I was just so aware of them the whole night. I remember fretting and weeping, and then it occurred to me that my discomfort was temporary, and the woman who I was playing, her discomfort was permanent. It just really centered me, and really quieted my soul for the next day's work.
  • [on portraying Patsey in 12 Years a Slave (2013)] I was heartbroken by her story. I just felt so sorry for her. I recognized then that I had a lot of work to do to get to a point where I could play her, because feeling that kind of sympathy for someone is no way to actually inhabit them.. She was just simple and she was trying to get by on a daily basis. She's not sentimental about her pain. I had to have the same kind of attitude.
  • [2014: Academy Award acceptance speech, closing remarks] When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind every child that no matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.
  • I got teased and taunted about my skin. My one prayer to God was that I would wake up lighter skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of the mirror because I wanted to see my face first. Every day I would feel the disappointment of being just as dark as the day before.
  • [on supermodel Alek Wek] She was dark as night and was in all the magazines and on runways. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome. I couldn't believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn't help but bloom inside of me.
  • I'm Mexican and Kenyan at the same time. I've seen the quarrels over my nationality, but I'm Kenyan and Mexican at the same time. So again, I am Mexican-Kenyan and I am fascinated by carne asada tacos.
  • Having stamina. I think that's what my three years at Yale rewarded me with, a kind of stamina. And also building a kind of confidence in myself. At Yale they say, 'Hold on tightly. Let go lightly'. That's it. You hold on, and then you just let go with it and trust that when [the director] says 'Cut' and then when he says 'Action' again, it will be there.
  • [on being directed by Steve McQueen] Patsey is simple. She's not noble. He wasn't interested in a portrait of her as a noble savage. I had to move away from sympathy to a place of empathy, rather than just commenting on her situation, trying to buy people's love for her. Because she was just trying to get by on a day-to-day basis.
  • [on her parents] They raised all of us to listen to what we think our calling is and then do it. Do it. And do it well. With a sense of purpose. And so, when my interest was in acting they were very supportive. My mother drove me to rehearsals every day at school. My father was a thespian, so he can live vicariously.
  • I realize that beauty was not a thing I could acquire or consume. It was something that I just had to be.
  • My mother would say to me, "You can't eat beauty. It doesn't feed you." And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn't really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be. And what my mother meant when she said you can't eat beauty was that you can't rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us... what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul.
  • My mother taught me that your presentation is an expression of how much you care about yourself and those around you.
  • My mother taught me that there are more valuable ways to achieve beauty than just through external features. She was focused on compassion and respect, and those are the things that ended up translating to me as beauty.
  • Beautiful people have many advantages, but so do friendly people...I think beauty is an expression of love.
  • Go where you are loved. People who see the best in you bring out the best in you.