Lupita Nyong’o: ‘Acting comes with a lot of responsibility’

Lupita Nyong’o is well aware that her job as an actress “comes with a lot of responsibility”.Since she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 for her acting debut in 12 Years a Slave, the 36-year-old has starred in a number of critically-acclaim…

Lupita Nyong’o is well aware that her job as an actress “comes with a lot of responsibility”.

Since she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 for her acting debut in 12 Years a Slave, the 36-year-old has starred in a number of critically-acclaimed films, such as Jordan Peele’s horror Us and Marvel’s Black Panther.

Lupita reflected on her six-year career as she accepted the Montecito Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California on Monday, telling the audience that she feels honoured to have been offered the opportunities she has.

“It still feels early for me to be reflecting on a body of work, but I feel blessed to have had the diversity of experience I have had so far,” she gushed, according to local news website Noozhawk.com. “It’s something I have always wanted.

“As an actor, real freedom is having that choice, and it’s hard to get there because acting is reliant on many other things. Acting is a privileged thing. It’s luxurious to play all day, and have people look up at you… It’s a luxurious thing, and also a thing that comes with a lot of responsibility.”

The Little Monsters star previously explained to British Vogue magazine that she is seduced by projects which might have a cultural impact.

“I don’t get fulfilment from the number of zeros attached to a project,” Lupita explained. “What I’m seduced by is the potential to shift a narrative. That is very seductive to me, having social and cultural impact.

“I speak up for the things I can personally vouch for. There’s a lot going on in this world, a lot of causes that are noble. But I feel most useful when I have a personal connection. And the conviction to say something.”

Lupita can next be seen starring opposite Jessica Chastain and Diane Kruger in spy thriller 355 and leading the TV adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah.

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Jennifer Aniston wows in white at 2020 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Jennifer Aniston pulled out all of the stops at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday night.The 50-year-old, who won the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role in The Morning Show, stood out in …

Jennifer Aniston pulled out all of the stops at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards on Sunday night.

The 50-year-old, who won the prize for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series for her role in The Morning Show, stood out in a vintage white silk dress designed by John Galliano back when he was creative director of Christian Dior between 1996 and 2011.

Speaking about her outfit during an interview with Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet, Jennifer explained that she actually owns the gown.

“This is John Galliano for Christian Dior, this is a vintage dress that I sort of gave to myself as a present,” she said. “This is an investment. These are designers that are working for particular houses – I only have a couple.”

Jennifer completed her ensemble with jewellery from Fred Leighton.

But she wasn’t the only star to opt for white at the SAG Awards – Riverdale star Lili Reinhart looked elegant in a two-tone Miu Miu ballgown, The Handmaid’s Tale actress Yvonne Strahovski rocked a simple white gown from Khyeli and Christian Louboutin heels, while Millie Bobby Brown sported a Louis Vuitton outfit.

Other celebrities to make the best-dressed list included Zoe Kravitz, who matched her peach Oscar de la Renta column gown with white gloves and Tiffany & Co. bling, Cynthia Erivo, who stunned in a fuchsia and orange number from Schiaparelli, and Lupita Nyong’o, who dazzled in a strapless Louis Vuitton gown with silver sequin design.

Elsewhere, Renee Zellweger, who collected the award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her film Judy, rocked a midnight blue dress from Maison Margiela with Jimmy Choo stilettos, and Scarlett Johansson made a splash in a teal blue Armani dress with plunging neckline.

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Steve McQueen slams BAFTA over lack of diversity

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to no…

Director Steve McQueen has slammed BAFTA chiefs after black actors and filmmakers were snubbed in the nominations for this year’s awards.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts bosses were left embarrassed last week after their members failed to nominate any black or ethnic minority stars for awards at next month’s ceremony.

Now, McQueen has criticised the lack of diversity at the event, rejecting organisers’ claims that the lack of diversity is down to wider issues with representation in the film industry.

“After a while, you get a bit fed up with it. Because if the BAFTAs are not supporting British talent, if you’re not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don’t understand what you are there for. Unless the BAFTAs wants to be like the Grammys, which is of no interest to anyone, and has no credibility at all, then they should continue on this path,” he fired in an interview with The Guardian, referencing the criticism of the annual U.S. music awards for snubbing black talent. “If not then they have to change. Fact.”

McQueen, who has an Oscar and two BAFTAs, went on to cite a number of British stars and filmmakers who he thinks should have received recognition, including Cynthia Erivo for Harriet – who has also condemned BAFTA for the lack of diversity – and Daniel Kaluuya for his performance in Queen & Slim. He also shared his disappointment at Lupita Nyong’o not being nominated for Jordan Peele’s Us.

“But not even just British talent, it’s talent in general. It’s crazy,” the 50-year-old added.

The 12 Years a Slave filmmaker went on to insist that if the BAFTAs failed on diversity, they would experience a talent drain as stars and creatives move to Hollywood to find success.

“If (filmmakers) are not recognised visually in our culture, well what’s the b**ody point? It becomes irrelevant, redundant and of no interest or importance. End of,” he concluded.

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Lupita Nyong’o’s red carpet looks relate to film characters

Lupita Nyong’o and her stylist like to come up with looks which reference the film she’s promoting when she hits the red carpet. The Oscar-winning actress and her stylist Micaela Erlanger, who have been working together since her movie debut in 2013, …

Lupita Nyong’o and her stylist like to come up with looks which reference the film she’s promoting when she hits the red carpet.

The Oscar-winning actress and her stylist Micaela Erlanger, who have been working together since her movie debut in 2013, consider the outfits she wears when promoting projects to be an extension of the visual storytelling within the movie.

Accordingly, they treat each event with thematic precision, and explored female warrior iconography when Lupita was promoting Black Panther and mined circus and carnival references while stepping out to support horror movie Us.

“It’s really important to have a narrative, because we’re telling a story visually, just like in an editorial,” Erlanger told British Vogue magazine. “She’s never in costume, but her look has to relate to the character she’s there to talk about.”

However, their narrative dressing is put to one side when it comes to award shows, as they like to go for all-out glamour.

“It’s an extraordinary honour to walk the red carpet at these events, so you have to have the confidence to command a presence there and represent the best possible version of yourself,” the style expert added. “Lupita is the star of her own life and she dresses for that role in those moments.”

Erlanger, who also works with actresses such as Olivia Munn, Meryl Streep, and Gal Gadot, also praised the 12 Years a Slave star for coming into their meetings having done her homework.

“She’s an expert in tailoring and silhouettes, and her knowledge of what suits her allows her to be more daring,” she gushed. “She pushes me, I push her and we bring each other back down to earth. This trust has allowed us to see how transformative style can truly be. She’s become the ultimate muse and people want to work with her.”

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Lupita Nyong’o attracted to movies with potential for ‘social and cultural impact’

Lupita Nyong’o is seduced by film projects which may have a “social and cultural impact”.The 36-year-old won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her first-ever feature film role in 12 Years a Slave in 2014, and has worked consistently ever since, wit…

Lupita Nyong’o is seduced by film projects which may have a “social and cultural impact”.

The 36-year-old won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her first-ever feature film role in 12 Years a Slave in 2014, and has worked consistently ever since, with credits in movies such as Black Panther, Us, Little Monsters, and the latest Star Wars trilogy.

In a cover interview with British Vogue magazine, the actress explained that she has given herself “permission to take things slow” so she can carefully pick the projects that allow her to make a difference.

“I don’t get fulfilment from the number of zeros attached to a project,” she explained. “What I’m seduced by is the potential to shift a narrative. That is very seductive to me, having social and cultural impact.”

Lupita, who has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and a Critics’ Choice Award for her role in Jordan Peele’s horror Us, is next set to produce and star in a TV adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah – a project she fell “madly in love” with.

“I had never seen the African contemporary experience explored, celebrated and analysed in such a way,” the star gushed. “The observations she makes as a non-American black person about America are things that I had never articulated but had felt.

“I speak up for the things I can personally vouch for. There’s a lot going on in this world, a lot of causes that are noble. But I feel most useful when I have a personal connection. And the conviction to say something.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Lupita shared that acting can sometimes be a lonely profession.

“With Black Panther, a lot of us were single. On Little Monsters, nobody was single. Everyone, when they’re done with their day’s work, wants to go home to their families, which makes a whole lot of sense. When you don’t have that it’s very isolating,” she admitted.

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Us is a triple winner at African American Film Critics Association Awards

Jordan Peele’s Us has been named the Best Film of 2019 by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).The movie, which banked just over $255 million (£193.5 million) at the worldwide box office, also earned Peele the Best Director title and …

Jordan Peele’s Us has been named the Best Film of 2019 by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA).

The movie, which banked just over $255 million (£193.5 million) at the worldwide box office, also earned Peele the Best Director title and Best Actress for Lupita Nyong’o.

“Jordan Peele continued to raise the bar in horror specifically and film overall,” AAFCA President/Co-Founder Gil Robertson shared in a statement.

“With Us, he once again upended the horror genre. His centering of a black nuclear family determined to survive in a complex storyline in a genre where black family units have historically been unseen is extraordinary. He continues to push previously set boundaries with bold storylines that bring a refreshing perspective to cinema overall and the genre specifically.

“The film’s $255 million global gross is yet another example that inclusive filmmaking resonates big at the box office and it also resonated critically with our members who awarded the film with our highest honors.”

Eddie Murphy was another big winner, taking the Best Actor prize for Dolemite Is My Name, while his co-star, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, picked up a supporting accolade, alongside Jamie Foxx for Just Mercy.

AAFCA officials also listed their top films of the year. In addition to Us, they named Dolemite Is My Name, Just Mercy, The Irishman, Clemency, Queen & Slim, Waves, Parasite, Atlantics, The Farewell, and Harriet as their favourites.

Meanwhile, there were double honours for Waves as Kelvin Harrison, Jr. landed Best Breakout Performance, and Taylor Russell claimed the We See You Award for rising stars.

Parasite was declared Best Foreign Film, its writer/director Bong Joon-ho scored Best Screenplay, while Queen & Slim won the Impact Award.

Best Animated Film went to Abominable, The Black Godfather won Best Documentary, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco was deemed Best Independent Film.

The winners of the AAFCA Awards will be celebrated at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 22 January.

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Marriage Story’s Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson lead 2020 SAG Awards nominees

Marriage Story stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are among the nominees for the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.Driver was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor on Wednesday, while his co-star is in contention for Ou…

Marriage Story stars Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson are among the nominees for the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

Driver was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor on Wednesday, while his co-star is in contention for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role.

He will compete with Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio, (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), while Johansson will take on Renee Zellweger (Judy), Charlize Theron, (Bombshell), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), and Cynthia Erivo (Harriet).

The Black Widow star is also nominated in the Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her role in Jojo Rabbit, and is up against her Marriage Story co-star Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), and Bombshell co-stars Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman.

In the Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role category, the nominees are Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), The Irishman co-stars Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, as well as Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

Competing for the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture are ensembles from Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite.

Stars of the small screen will also be honoured at the ceremony, and male actors nominated for their TV work include Russell Crowe (The Loudest Voice), Mahershala Ali (True Detective), and Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method).

Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show), Michelle Williams (Fosse/Verdon), and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) are among the female nominees for TV prizes.

The nominations were revealed by actresses America Ferrera and Danai Gurira at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

As previously announced, Robert De Niro will be honoured with a lifetime achievement honour at the event, which will take place at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall on 19 January.

The full list of nominees is as follows:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Bombshell

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Cynthia Erivo – Harriet

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Lupita Nyong’o – Us

Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Renee Zellweger – Judy

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Taron Egerton – Rocketman

Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit

Nicole Kidman – Bombshell

Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers

Margot Robbie – Bombshell

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy

Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Avengers: Endgame

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Joker

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Big Little Lies

The Crown

Game of Thrones

The Handmaid’s Tale

Stranger Things

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Barry

Fleabag

The Kominsky Method

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Schitt’s Creek

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston – The Morning Show

Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown

Olivia Colman – The Crown

Jodie Comer – Killing Eve

Elisabeth Moss – The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us

Steve Carrell – The Morning Show

Billy Crudup – The Morning Show

Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

David Harbour – Stranger Things

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate – Dead to Me

Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek

Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Alan Arkin – The Kominsky Method

Michael Douglas – The Kominsky Method

Bill Hader – Barry

Andrew Scott – Fleabag

Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

Patricia Arquette – The Act

Toni Collette – Unbelievable

Joey King – The Act

Emily Watson – Chernobyl

Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie

Mahershala Ali – True Detective

Russell Crowe – The Loudest Voice

Jared Harris – Chernobyl

Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us

Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series

Game of Thrones

Glow

Stranger Things

The Walking Dead

Watchmen

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Lupita Nyong’o emailed Taylor Swift to secure song rights for Little Monsters

Lupita Nyong’o personally wrote to Taylor Swift to ask for her permission to use Shake It Off in her new movie Little Monsters.In the independent Australian comedy, the Oscar-winning actress plays Miss Caroline, a kindergarten teacher who must keep h…

Lupita Nyong’o personally wrote to Taylor Swift to ask for her permission to use Shake It Off in her new movie Little Monsters.

In the independent Australian comedy, the Oscar-winning actress plays Miss Caroline, a kindergarten teacher who must keep her class alive when zombies break out of a military testing facility and wander to the nearby petting zoo, where they are on a school trip.

Miss Caroline can usually be found playing the ukulele to entertain her youngsters and their particular favourite is Swift’s 2014 hit single. However, director Abe Forsythe struggled to get the rights to the song at a price the production could afford, so Nyong’o stepped in and made it happen.

“We tried for months and months and months to get the rights to it with no luck,” Forsythe explained to Vulture. “We tried reaching out to Taylor herself; didn’t get through. We tried her management. We tried her record company. Management I think came back at one point and said, ‘It will cost this,’ and it was like completely unaffordable for the type of movie we were.

“Anyway, when Lupita came onboard, Shake It Off was one of the things that appealed to her about Little Monsters, too. The song played a really particular role in one part of her life, so she really resonated with that being in the script. She was like, ‘We can’t not have this in the movie,’ so she told me she was going to write Taylor an email and not give Taylor the opportunity to turn her down… The only reason that song is in the movie is because Lupita is in the movie. I wouldn’t have been able to make the movie that we made with anyone else.”

Forsythe went on to explain that he wasn’t aware of the song but wrote it straight into the script after he heard children from his son’s school perform it on a ukulele at a recital.

Little Monsters in U.K. cinemas now.

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Lupita Nyong’o stars in Michael Kors charity campaign

Lupita Nyong’o has been tapped to front Michael Kors’ global philanthropic campaign against world hunger. Since the inception of initiative, the American designer and his company have helped the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its school…

Lupita Nyong’o has been tapped to front Michael Kors’ global philanthropic campaign against world hunger.

Since the inception of initiative, the American designer and his company have helped the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its school meals program deliver more than 18 million meals to children, and to celebrate its seventh year, the Black Panther actress has teamed up with the brand to support the drive.

“I am proud to support Watch Hunger Stop because it focuses attention on solutions to the problem of hunger and encourages people to take action on an individual basis,” she said in a statement.

“Watch Hunger Stop helps to fund meals for schools, which has a direct impact on leveling the performance playing field for underprivileged students,” Nyong’o added. “When students can eat, they can perform better in school which in turn leads to greater opportunities in life. In so doing, Michael Kors and WFP are facilitating better opportunities for women and girls on a daily basis.”

In the imagery for this year’s campaign, which has the theme “Food is love”, Lupita can be seen wearing a black T-shirt with the word “Love” written in white and a white T-shirt with black writing. Kors designed the limited-edition tops, which retail for $40 (£32), as well a black canvas tote bag, which costs $59 (£48), to mark World Food Day on 16 October.

Michael Kors will donate 100 per cent of profits from the sale of the products to WFP. For each selfie a person posts in the clothes with the hashtag #watchhungerstop, the company will donate a further 100 meals. During October, supporters can also made a direct donation to WFP in select Michael Kors stores.

The limited-edition collection is on sale now.

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Lupita Nyong’o: ‘Hollywood can be oversensitive to sexism at times’

Lupita Nyong’o believes Hollywood can be at times “oversensitive” to sexism in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The Black Panther star told Vanity Fair magazine she’s glad sexism and abuse are now hot topics in Tinseltown but while she’…

Lupita Nyong’o believes Hollywood can be at times “oversensitive” to sexism in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

The Black Panther star told Vanity Fair magazine she’s glad sexism and abuse are now hot topics in Tinseltown but while she’s happy people in the movie industry are now more sensitive to accusations of sexism, chauvinism, and abuse, at times she suggested they take things too far.

“I think there’s also at times an oversensitivity, which I just think is the nature of the pendulum shifting, and it takes time to find the balance,” the 36-year-old actress explained as she praised the industry for hiring intimacy coaches. “I’m quite happy that there is that kind of extreme change, and hopefully we find equilibrium as we move forward.”

Intimacy coaches ensure actors are comfortable during sex scenes and Nyong’o explained that they were now more commonplace.

“In the past, when it came to physical combat, there were always consultants on set, but when it came to intimacy there was never, ever somebody present to help actors navigate that,” she added. “Now you have that, which I think is a great inclusion, and ensures that those kinds of abuses don’t happen.”

As for her own real-life romances, the star closely guards her privacy, despite fans speculating over potential relationships with both male and female stars, including Michael B. Jordan and Janelle Monae.

“I feel like there’s parts of myself that I care to share and then there are parts that I don’t,” Lupita explained of her desire to keep her personal life private.

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