Lupita Nyong’o On Her Breakout Role In’12 Years A Slave’
octobre 2013 | Faits de société | Cinéma/TV | États-Unis
Source : Huffington Post


L’actrice kenyane fait le buzz pour son rôle dans « 12 Years A Slave » (Steve McQueen).


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. (Chiwetel Ejiofor, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt are among the film’s other co-stars.)

Before the Oct. 18 release of « 12 Years A Slave, » HuffPost Entertainment spoke with Nyong’o about her long path to scoring the role of a lifetime, her emotional reaction to seeing the film, and the growing Oscar buzz around her performance.

Steve McQueen compared the search for Patsey to « finding Scarlett O’Hara, » in that 1,000 actresses auditioned. Were you aware of how difficult it was for him to cast?
I’m glad I didn’t know about the search for Patsey. I was not aware of that at all! I only became aware of it during this press tour. I was about to graduate from the Yale School of Drama, and my manager received the script for her client, Garret Dillahunt, who plays Armsby in the film, and she thought I would be good in the role of Patsey. I put myself on tape in New York with her help, and then a week later I was in Los Angeles and I went in to audition with Francine Maisler, the casting director. She put me through the ringer. Then, finally, I was invited to Louisiana to audition for Steve. I auditioned in three different states.

What did Francine have you do?
She prefaced it with saying, « I’m going to do things with you that are not conventional for an audition, but I just want you to go with it. » I went to school for three years to train as an actor, and what they always said was say yes before you say no. I went in there and I surrendered to her process. She was like a drill sergeant. I had to do some of the most harrowing scenes in the film, and to do them from nowhere – like, from traffic in Los Angeles. She would take me through the scene and, of course, at the end of the scene, Patsey is left more broken than she began. So then she would ask me to start from that point and do the scene again. And again. And again. It was emotionally exhausting.

What kind of emotions did you feel after being hired?
After I auditioned for Steve, I flew back to New Haven, Conn. and I was just about to go and sit in the sun and take in the last 24 hours when I received his call saying, « I’d like to offer you the part. » My heart leaped, and then it sunk. I was so happy to get it, but then I realized, « Oh, no. This is where it begins. » That was bad!

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