Lupita Nyong’o is on the award-season fast track.
On the heels of winning a Critics’ Choice Movie Award for “12 Years a Slave,” she also took the movie supporting actress honor Saturday (Jan. 18) at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards — triumphing in an upset over “American Hustle” co-star Jennifer Lawrence, who earned a Golden Globe Award last weekend. The two also are Oscar rivals for Best Supporting Actress.
“Being recognized by fellow actors is an honor of the highest order,” Nyong’o says in opening her sincere and endearing acceptance speech, first singling out “the man without whom this wouldn’t have been possible at all, [the film’s central character] Solomon Northup.”
Also getting special mention from the Mexico-born, Kenya-raised Nyong’o is “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, “for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on. You are love personified.”
After acknowledging her 12 Years a Slave” co-stars, with whom she’s also a SAG full-cast nominee — and who “embraced me from the very beginning, and I can now call my friends” — Nyong’o gives a shout-out to the Yale School of Drama for “the amazing training.”
In closing, the actress thanks her family “who have kept it real,” and notes that her father was the first person she called after she landed the “12 Years a Slave” role of Patsey.
“I said, ‘Daddy, do you know Brad Pitt? I’m going to be in a movie with him!’ And he said, ‘I don’t know him personally, but I’m glad you got a job.’ And so am I!”