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LUPITA NYONG’O FOR VOGUE MAGAZINE

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On her surreal life: “It just feels like the entertainment industry exploded into my life. People who seemed so distant all of a sudden were right in front of me and recognizing me—before I recognized them! […] For a split second I looked behind me to see who they were flashing at—and it was me! That was, I think, the beginning of the end of my anonymity.”

On getting ready for the red carpet: “You spend so much time with your glam squad. Their energy is the last thing you experience before you leave the hotel room—and they make it fun and light and manageable. […] Nothing can prepare you for awards season. The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it.”

On seeing 12 Years a Slave for the first time: “I was really nervous about seeing myself in 12 Years a Slave because it had been such a profound experience in all ways. I remember it being one of the most joyful times in my life—and also one of the most sorrowful. I didn’t want my experience to be a vain one. But I will say that when I watched it, my heartstrings were pulled so tight for Solomon that I couldn’t go into the ego trip. I cried—I mean, I was inconsolable. I wept for an hour after the movie.”

 

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