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Nyong'o: There's nothing comfortable about being an actor

Published 01/04/2015

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o has likened acting to being “out on a ledge”, admitting that while there’s “nothing comfortable about being an actor”, she thrives on it.

The 32-year-old is still very much on a high following her supersonic rise to the top, with the relative newcomer scooping the best supporting actress gong at the 2014 Academy Awards for 12 Years a Slave.

Gracing the May cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK, the stunning actress opened up about that life-changing night, admitting she wrongly assumed that life would simply go back to normal afterwards.

"You know, I thought it would come to an end after the Oscars. I thought the Oscars would come and go and then all of a sudden everything would be back to normal and I'd be back in my apartment," she laughed.

"You know what kept me sane? Not knowing. Having never really experienced that before... because this was new territory I had no normal. I had no sense of what was normal in that world. It was all new.”

Talking about what drew her to acting, the Kenyan-raised beauty admitted she “enjoys learning new things”. However, that doesn’t mean she’s relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera – in fact, it’s the complete opposite.

"I enjoy being uncomfortable for some reason. It's more interesting, more challenging… That's why I'm an actor. Because there's nothing comfortable about being an actor. You're always out on a ledge, you know?" she explained.

Despite still feeling ill at ease on the red carpet, Lupita revealed she is inspired by Emma Thompson’s playfulness during such situations. The newcomer revealed she very much looks up to 55-year-old British star, who herself is a two-time Oscar-winner and has been in the industry for more than three decades.

"Emma Thompson, Emma Thompson, Emma Thompson, Emma Thompson,” she gushed of her idol, whom she says got her through the tough times. “It was such a relief... witnessing her going through that whole thing with an ease and a playfulness and just abandon. That is like the person I want to be. I want to be that comfortable even in this very alien environment that you get put in."

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