Lupita Nyong’o Top Five
Lupita Amondi Nyong’o (born March 1, 1983) is a Kenyan-Mexican actress. The daughter of Kenyan politician Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and Dorothy Ogada Buyu, Nyong’o was born in Mexico City, where her father was teaching and was raised in Kenya from age one. She attended college in the United States, earning a bachelor’s degree in film and theatre studies from Hampshire College.
Nyong’o began her career in Hollywood as a production assistant. In 2008, she made her acting debut with the short film East River and subsequently returned to Kenya to star in the television series Shuga (2009–2012). Also in 2009, she wrote, produced, and directed the documentary In My Genes. She then pursued a master’s degree in acting from the Yale School of Drama. Soon after her graduation, she had her first feature film role as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s biographical period drama 12 Years a Slave (2013), for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She became the first Kenyan and Mexican actress to win an Academy Award.
Nyong’o made her Broadway debut as a teenage orphan in the play Eclipsed (2015), for which she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. She went on to perform a motion capture role as Maz Kanata in the Star Wars sequel trilogy (2015–2019) and a lead voice role as Raksha in The Jungle Book (2016). Nyong’o’s career progressed with her role as Nakia in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Panther (2018) and her starring role in Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed horror film Us (2019).
Aside from acting, Nyong’o supports historic preservation. She is vocal about preventing sexual harassment, working for women’s and animal rights. In 2014, she was named the most beautiful woman by People. Nyong’o has also written a children’s book named Sulwe (2019), which became a number-one New York Times Best-Seller. Also in 2019, Nyong’o narrated the Discovery Channel docu-series Serengeti, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Narrator. Nyong’o was cited as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019. Nyong’o was named among Africa’s “50 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes in 2020.
With all of that said, here is Lupita Nyong’o Top Five:
#5 Non-Stop (2014) – Bill Marks is a burned-out veteran of the Air Marshals service. He views the assignment not as a life-saving duty, but as a desk job in the sky. However, today’s flight will be no routine trip. Shortly into the transatlantic journey from New York to London, he receives a series of mysterious text messages ordering him to have the government transfer $150 million into a secret account, or a passenger will die every 20 minutes.
#4 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – Thirty years after defeating the Galactic Empire, Han Solo and his allies face a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and his army of Stormtroopers.
#3 12 Years a Slave (2013) – In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty as well as unexpected kindnesses Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist will forever alter his life.
#2 Us (2019) – Husband and wife Gabe and Adelaide Wilson take their kids to their beach house expecting to unplug and unwind with friends. But as night descends, their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some shocking visitors arrive uninvited.
#1 Black Panther (2018) – King T’Challa returns home from America to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne by factions within his own country as well as without. Using powers reserved to Wakandan kings, T’Challa assumes the Black Panther mantel to join with girlfriend Nakia, the queen-mother, his princess-kid sister, members of the Dora Milaje (the Wakandan ‘special forces’) and an American secret agent, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.
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