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The Only Woman Who Can Stop Oprah from Winning an Oscar

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o

The next time someone makes a list highlighting the greatest acting debuts of all time, expect Lupita Nyong’o to place near the top, alongside the likes of Edward Norton, Natalie Portman, Marlee Matlin and Orson Welles. Nyong’o plays a key supporting role in Steve McQueen’s slavery drama, “12 Years A Slave,” and her performance has been so widely praised already that many awards prognosticators have the 30-year-old actress pegged as the only woman who can prevent Oprah Winfrey from winning her first acting Oscar.

“This is Lupita’s first movie. Think about where she goes from here,” Sarah Paulson, who co-stars with Nyong’o in “12 Years A Slave,” told HuffPost Entertainment in a recent interview. “It’s like, ‘Come on, lady. You’ve got 10 movies in your future that are not going to be as good as this, no matter how good they are. Just so you know. Then you’ll have another great one.'”

Born in Mexico and raised in Kenya (and now a resident of Brooklyn), Nyong’o studied at the Yale School of Drama before scoring what has become her breakout role. She stars as Patsey in McQueen’s searing drama, a slave who endures unspeakable acts of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her psychotic owner, played by fellow Oscar hopeful Michael Fassbender.



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