timeline

born 1983

With a grace + onscreen gravitas almost unheard of in a first major role, Lupita Nyong'o won an Oscar for her work in 12 Years a Slave. Growing up in Kenya with limited access to film + tv, it took Lupita a long time to discover her calling as an actor. But, it didn't take her long to become one of Hollywood's most sought-after leading ladies once she did.

As People Magazine's "Most Beautiful Woman" + the new face of Lancôme, Lupita is redefining outdated ideals of beauty. And, helping countless girls + women feel beautiful in their skin along the way. As she puts it, true beauty is "compassion for yourself and for those around you."

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Lupita Nyong'o (15)

"Joy is not the negation of pain, but rather acknowledging the presence of pain and feeling happiness in spite of it."

Interview Magazine | july 2013

"Always I want to have integrity and not compromise that."

Lupita Nyong'o: A Defining Moment | december 2013

"[Y]ou go to acting school thinking you’re going to learn how to be other people, but really it taught me how to be myself."

Lupita Nyong'o On the Fear That Guided Her 12 Years A Slave Performance | january 2014

"It’s not about getting it right, it’s about getting it true."

Lupita Nyong'o On the Fear That Guided Her 12 Years A Slave Performance | january 2014

"You fail, and then what? Life goes on. It’s only when you risk failure that you discover things."

backstage magazine | february 2014

"What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul."

ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood acceptance speech | february 2014

"It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s."

Best Supporting Actress | march 2014

"No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid."

academy award acceptance | march 2014

"I feel most beautiful when I'm content."

People Magazine | april 2014

"The older I get, the more I laugh."

People Magazine | april 2014

"I cannot lead my life with an attitude of deficit."

ELLE magazine | july 2014

"Dreaming...is a glimpse of the thing you want to do that would make you feel most alive. A dream is a portal to your purpose."

The Personal Investment in a Dream | december 2014

"Once [a dream] is uttered and you have taken ownership of it, the destination is taken care of and the journey can begin."

The Personal Investment in a Dream | december 2014

"When I watched The Color Purple and saw Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah in it, a seed was planted in my heart to be an actor, but I dared not water it in public."

The Personal Investment in a Dream | december 2014

"When you are living 'on purpose,' the limited size of your human experience has got nothing to do with it."

The Personal Investment in a Dream | december 2014
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curated with care by Angela Willard {september 2014}