unknown Kenyan actress at the time shut to fame after she played Patsey in the move 12 years a slave.
According to NYmag Lupita attended an all-girls school, playing many sports poorly (“Soccer, hockey, rounders, netball, touch rugby—they could do without me, to put it mildly”), watching American television (“Step by Step, Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Full House—I watched a lot of sitcoms, as you can tell”), and acting in school plays, the first of which was Oliver Twist. “I was a passerby. I had five words: ‘Coming down the street, there.’ That was it. But I had a backstory for my character. I decided I was going to be a man, so I borrowed my brother’s suit, my dad’s briefcase. I don’t know why I decided to be a man—I think it was more interesting.” At age 14, she auditioned for Kenya’s national repertory theater, Phoenix Players, and was cast as Juliet. At Hampshire College, which she attended because “it’s a matter of course for Kenyans in middle-class families to study abroad,” she says she was not yet “in a position to admit I wanted to be an actor, but I knew that I wanted to be involved in that world. America was a good place to go.”
Nonetheless, her first months in America were a shock. “I thrive on structure,” she says. “I find my freedom in structure. It was very hard to adjust to an individualistic and very liberal system. I mean, my upbringing, I would iron my clothes every night. I would plan what I wore the night before, and then I would iron it. That’s just the way my mom raised us. Then I got to Hampshire, where clothing is sometimes optional and all this kind of thing. I was mortified.” She raises a perfectly arched brow and cuts into her sandwich with a knife and fork.
More photos from The Selfmade Woman Conference - The stars of yesterday's event were the speakers. Powerful speeches from very inspiring and boundary breaking women. And the attendees were equally amazing...