Lupita Nyong’o feels “privileged” to have people who “look up” to her.
The 36-year-old actress accepted the Montecito Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Monday (Jan. 20) at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California, and used her acceptance speech to talk about the “luxurious” life of being a Hollywood star.
Speaking to the crowd at the event, she said: “It still feels early for me to be reflecting on a body of work, but I feel blessed to have had the diversity of experience I have had so far. It’s something I have always wanted.
“As an actor, real freedom is having that choice, and it’s hard to get there because acting is reliant on many other things. Acting is a privileged thing. It’s luxurious to play all day … and have people look up at you … It’s a luxurious thing, and also a thing the comes with a lot of responsibility.”
“I’m seduced by is the potential to shift a narrative. That is very seductive to me, having social and cultural impact.”— Lupita Nyong’o
Despite finding her job a luxury, the ‘Us‘ star recently spoke about the downsides to spending long periods of time away from her family whilst on film sets, as she said she can often feel lonely without her loved ones nearby.
She explained: “Filming is so time-consuming. And intense. With ‘Black Panther’, a lot of us were single. On ‘Little Monsters’, nobody was single. Everyone, when they’re done with their day’s work, wants to go home to their families, which makes a whole lot of sense. When you don’t have that it’s very isolating.”
Lupita also revealed that she is deeply passionate about her work and tries to choose roles that will make a difference in the world.
The ’12 Years a Slave’ actress said: “It’s passion. I definitely want to claim ambition, but I get very compulsive about the things I am passionate about, to the point of not sleeping. It’s very impractical. I fight the barriers that I form for myself because they’re often ridiculous.
“I don’t get fulfilment from the number of zeros attached to a project. What I’m seduced by is the potential to shift a narrative. That is very seductive to me, having social and cultural impact.”