Rare is a feature film debut met with much acclaim, but rarer still is a talent such as Lupita Nyong'o. Hailing from Kenya by way of Mexico Nyong'o was the daughter of a Kenyan politician. In fact, it was during his time as a visiting lecturer in Mexico City that she came to be born in that country, with the family eventually moving back to Kenya when she was a year old. However, in addition to being sent back to Mexico by her parents later in life to learn Spanish, Nyong'o set out abroad for her education as well, this time to the United States to attend both Hampshire College and Yale University. During her time in school, she appeared in a number of stage productions. Following graduation, she made her initial foray into movies behind the camera, working on the production teams of films such as "The Constant Gardener" (2005) and "The Namesake" (2006). In 2009, she created, directed, produced and edited a documentary entitled "In My Genes" for her final thesis project at Hampshire. The project - focusing on the societal and personal challenges faced by Kenya's albino population - was a coming home for Nyong'o, who moved back to Nairobi around this time. Once there, she produced a video for MTV and eventually starred in a TV series, "Shuga." All of these achievements paled, however, compared to her casting as Patsey in director Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" (2013). Nyong'o's searing performance was widely praised by both critics and audiences, and resulted in the rising young star winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Following a supporting part in the Liam Neeson/Julianne Moore thriller "Non-Stop" (2014), Nyong'o next appeared in a motion-capture CGI role as Maz Katana in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015), a role she repeated in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (2017). In between, Nyong'o essayed a voice role as Raksha in Jon Favreau's "The Jungle Book" (2016) and starred opposite David Oyelowo in sports biography "Queen of Katwe" (2016). In 2018, she joined the all-star cast of the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster "Black Panther" (2018).
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