Lupita Nyongo talks confidence, reflects on past accomplishment and mor

Lupita Nyong’o wasn’t always the confident woman you see today. Speaking to Glamour, she says used to get teased simply for having dark skin.

“I got teased a lot for being dark-skinned. I went to an all-girls school for elementary school, and then I switched to coed school when I was 12. So just when I was coming into myself and becoming aware of my sexuality, I was being teased a lot by boys for being dark,” Lupita says. “So I definitely wasn’t confident, but how I dealt with that was, I think I just developed my character to compensate.”

Her confidence developed during her years in Mexico City, where she was often complimented for her beauty. “Mexicans really liked me as an anomaly, and they were really intrigued by what they thought was beautiful about me,” she says. “And so that was the first time that people would come up to me and say, ‘Wow, you’re so beautiful.’” By high school, the actress adds, “I felt stronger in myself. I felt more beautiful. I’d gotten that validation in a way that I just hadn’t had before.”

Lupita also received validation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 10 years ago when she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She says she “didn’t think I was not going to win” but adds she “had absolutely no expectation.”

As for the future, she’s tries not to look ahead. “In the last few years, I’ve been confronted with death and loss in ways that have been very sobering,” Lupita says. “I don’t really spend my time designing a 10-year plan, because I don’t know how long I’ve got.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.