With an Oscar on her shelf and a “Star Wars” film in the works, the 31 year-old actress from Kenya reflected on the realization that her star was rising faster than she’d ever imagined. The big moment, she recalled, came when she was mobbed by paparazzi when arriving to Los Angeles to attend the SAG Awards.
“For a split second I looked behind me to see who they were flashing at — and it was me!” she said. “That was, I think, the beginning of the end of my anonymity.”
The accolades and media attention aren’t what drives her, however.
“Even in my dreams of being an actor, my dream was not in the celebrity,” Nyong’o said. “My dream was in the work that I wanted to do.”
And the accolades, such as her Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, do come with a price.
“Nothing can prepare you for awards season. The red carpet feels like a war zone, except you cannot fly or fight; you just have to stand there and take it,” she said. “I hope they don’t make that the big quote! Because that would be sad! Tell them not to do that!”
See the actress’s first Vogue cover in its entirety, below: