She did it, you guys! Lupita Nyong'o isn't just the most gracious, poised, and stylish new addition to the season's red carpets, she's the most skilled performer in the bunch. But, all the calm she radiates broke down for a second when we talked to her backstage after her big, massive win for Best Supporting Actress. Never mind, she was as smart, funny, and, yeah, gracious as ever.
Congratulations on this incredible win and happy belated birthday. How are you feeling right now?
"I'm a little dazed. I can't believe this is in my hands. I can't believe this is real life. I'm really overwhelmed. You know, you hear people predicting you'll win and everything, but it's just not real until you hear Christoph Waltz says your name, and it's perplexing. But, I'm so happy to be holding this golden man."
You had a good luck message from the Kenyan president earlier this week. What reaction have you had in Kenya?
"I know that my country has been extremely proud of me. At the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, and they created this big, big canvas saying thank you to me — I stumbled upon it on Instagram! It was just amazing to see all of these hundreds of people holding up this thing, saying good luck to me. I know I mean a lot to my countrymen, and I’m so grateful for that kind of support."
What's the most encouraging thing someone has said to you during this whole Oscar ride?
"I think the message that I've gotten from many people who have been in this position, is that the outcome doesn't matter — you've already won. The work has been done. Remembering that has kept me hopeful, positive, and relaxed."
You're very humble. What led you to become this way?
"Credit must be given to my parents. I have phenomenal parents. My father is famous in his own right, has done amazing things for our country, Kenya, and my mother, too. She's a trailblazer. She's a pioneer. Those two do so much and mean so much to everyone and, at the end of the day, still have the humility to serve. Because of them. just feel it is my deeds that are more important than my fame."
What did your dad say after your win?
"He hugged me, and said, 'Thank you.'"
How are you going to be celebrating?
"I'm going to the Governors Ball, and I'm going to be doing all things Oscar-related. This is my first time here, and I feel like I'm in Willie Wonka's chocolate factory!"