Lupita Nyong'o plays an abused woman in "12 Years a Slave." Credit: Fox Searchlight
Screen newcomer Lupita Nyong’o won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for “12 Years a Slave,” in which she plays a slave who’s caught the eye of a sadistic plantation owner, played by fellow nominee Michael Fassbender.
Of Kenyan descent, Nyong’o, 30, was born in Mexico City but grew up in Kenya and, when she was 16, returned to Mexico City. She attended the Yale School of Drama, and worked on the production crews of such films as “The Constant Gardener” and “The Namesake.”
The role of Patsey in “12 Years a Slave” was the first role she won after graduating from Yale. She can currently be seen as one of the stewardesses in the Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop.”
For her performance she has won or been nominated for dozens of awards, including wins at the New York Film Critics Circle and the NAACP Image Awards.
“12 Years a Slave” is also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chiwetel Ejiofor), Best Supporting Actor (Fassbender), Director (Steve McQueen), Adapted Screenplay and more.