Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Academy Award-winning beauty Lupita Nyong’o is giving us a reason to smile this New Year with her sensational January cover for ESSENCE. The Star Wars actress looks absolutely radiant in her off-the-shoulder peach colored dress. Inside the issue, Nyong’o dishes about the cost of sudden fame and finding balance after her historic Oscar win.

“After 12 Years a Slave and the quote-unquote meteoric rise, I felt like there was a moment where I was suffering from whiplash. I had talked so much about who I was that I’d forgotten who I was,” she tells ESSENCE.


Nyong’o also went from the big screen to big stage in a hugely successful production of Eclipse. The show, which was written by Walking Dead star Danai Gurira, is headed to Broadway in February. It is also a role that Lupita desperately wanted in her repertoire.

“I didn’t grow up seeing African women onstage very often, much less African women in African stories. I was in love with the world Danai created,” says Nyong’o.

Eclipsed is set in 2003 at the end of the civil war in Liberia and follows a group of women who are captives of rebels fighting the government. The production also features Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Atlanta’s own, Saycon Sengbloh.  Eclipsed will begin Broadway previews February 23 and will officially open on March 6 at the Golden Theater for a limited 17-week run.

Check out Lupita’s full ESSENCE cover + Star Wars trailer below:


Photo Credits: Talking with Tami and