Lupita Nyong’o Talks Flawless Skin, Fashion & Her Fierce Cut
What does your name mean?
It’s the diminutive of Guadalupe. I was born in Mexico so my parents wanted to give me a Mexican name. My father’s name is Peter and in Luo to tulua means to follow and so he thought it was cute to have a Mexican name that also means that I followed him to Mexico.
When did you decide to pursue acting?
I decided to pursue a career in the arts after Hampshire College. I moved back home to Kenya and I was just going through this crisis like ‘what is my life going to look like?’ And I had this image of myself at 60 looking back on my life and I felt like I was going to really regret not having tried to be an actor. And while I was at Hampshire College, I worked on The Constant Gardener, over a summer holiday. And Ray Finds and I had a conversation in which he asked me what I wanted to do. And I said very timidly that I wanted to be an actor. And he sighed, took in a deep breath and said, ‘Lupita, if there’s anything else you want to do in your life, do that instead. Only act if you feel like you can’t live without it.’ And it wasn’t what I wanted to hear but it was what I needed to hear. And it took me three years from that point to finally utter it out loud that I wanted to be an actor and really understand, for myself, what it meant.
You can check out the entire interview in the video on the next page.