Lupita Nyong’o for DuJour Magazine

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Lupita Nyong’o had “A Defining Moment” for DuJour Magazine. Snagging the cover of their Winter 2013 issue, Nyong’o chatted with the glossy about how she approached her audition for 12 Years a Slave:

When I learned Steve McQueen was directing, and Brad Pitt was producing, I thought, “Well, this is huge,” she says. I had no expectation of getting the role at all; it was just too out there for me to think I had a chance. So I approached the audition like a rehearsal. It was my chance to have that role for 10 minutes, and I owned it. Then I got the part, and the panic began.

Well, panic attacks aside, Nyong’o stole the show as the resilient Patsey. Check out more snapshots from the photoshoot along with select quotes:

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“My life changed about three weeks ago. That’s when my schedule went from nil to this,” revealed  Nyong’o, in reference to her “marathon promotional push” for 12 Years a Slave.lupita nyongo a defining moment 2

“Lots of people come up and touch my back and want to give me a hug. At this point, it’s not too crazy. I let them hug me.” lupita nyongo a defining moment 3

“What validated my three years [at Yale] was that I was able to put all of that training to work immediately and so relevantly. I know I wouldn’t have been able to play Patsey had I not gone through three years of school. I wouldn’t have had the elasticity or the confidence to take it on. I don’t think I would have known I could do it.”

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Nyong’o’s plans for the future: “I would love to have a career that’s governed by the material; I always want to be part of stories that I feel are worthwhile. And they don’t all have to be as heavy as 12 Years a Slave. I do my best work when I feel conviction to say something through the character I play. Always I want to have integrity and not compromise that.”

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“I’m really fulfilled right now by the traction this film is getting. It was made to be seen, and that’s what’s happening—America is engaging with it and being moved and changed by it. It’s really rewarding to be a part of that. That’s more important to me than any award.”

Read the rest of Lupita Nyong’o’s cover story with DuJour Magazine here.

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