Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The most beautiful woman in the world, Lupita Nyong’o covers the July issue of VOGUE for the first time. The spread includes some amazing shots of the brown-skinned bombshell that were taken last month in Marrakech, Morocco.  The Oscar-winning actress, fashion icon and brand ambassador for Lancôme talks candidly about her meteoric rise to superstardom and recalls the moment she realized she was no longer a student of drama but a bonafide movie star.

in the story“For a split second I looked behind me to see who they were flashing at—and it was me!” she remembers. “That was, I think, the beginning of the end of my anonymity.”

Nyong’o also gushes over her new passion project, Americanah, which is an upcoming film based on Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acclaimed novel about the African immigrant experience.

“The book blew me away,” says Nyongo’.  “This was a project I wanted to work on, and I pursued it with all my being. It’s an unabashedly romantic book, really inspiring and uplifting. I found myself in her pages.”

In addition to shooting more films, the 31-year-old also has a desire to return to the Shakespearean stage and that she would ultimately like to play Egyptian queen, Cleopatra.

Check out her photos below and as well as excerpts from the interview:


“I was really nervous about seeing myself in 12 Years a Slave,” says Lupita, “because it had been such a profound experience in all ways. I remember it being one of the most joyful times in my life—and also one of the most sorrowful. I didn’t want my experience to be a vain one. But I will say that when I watched it, my heartstrings were pulled so tight for Solomon that I couldn’t go into the ego trip. I cried—I mean, I was inconsolable. I wept for an hour after the movie.”


On winning the Oscar: “I was just repeating my name in my head, so I didn’t know whether I had said my name or they had said my name! And then my little brother screamed, and time was suspended and it was just noise in my head.”


“You spend so much time with your glam squad,” says Lupita. “Their energy is the last thing you experience before you leave the hotel room—and they make it fun and light and manageable.”


“Even in my dreams of being an actor, my dream was not in the celebrity. My dream was in the work that I wanted to do.”


“My family is very close-knit,” she explains. “My aunt, who was an actor herself, would get all us children together to write and perform plays. I loved manipulating my parents’ emotions.”


On conquering the red carpet: “Nothing can prepare you for awards season,” she continues. “The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it.”


On being cast for Star Wars:  “It’s a wonderful opportunity to be working in these fantastical realms,” she says. “They’re worlds away from 12 Years a Slave, that’s for sure—but that kind of diversity is what dreams are made of.”

Click here to read the entire interview!

Photo Credits: Mikael Jansson/VOGUE