Oscars Backstage: Lupita Nyong’o Says ‘You Have to Allow for the Impossible to be Possible’

Best Supporting Actress winner says film shines light on painful chapter in American history

Last Updated: August 4, 2014 @ 11:10 AM

Best Supporting Actress Winner Lupita Nyong’o credited “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen with shining a light on a painful chapter in American history, and resurrecting the memories of group of men and women whose names and lives might have otherwise been expunged.

“He’s really honored a people that really have been unsung for a really long time,” Nyong’o told media backstage at the Academy Awards on Sunday. “I just feel that their spirits have been honored.”

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Nyong’o’s devastating performance as Patsey, a slave whose abuses and torments lead her to contemplate suicide, dazzles academy voters, who gave the actress a standing ovation as she accepted her honor.

Nyong’o said the recognition has yet to sink in.

“I’m just so happy to be holding this golden man,” Nyango said.

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The 31-year-old actress was largely unknown before “12 Years a Slave,” a Best Picture nominee, hit screens this year. Her journey from obscurity to Oscar taught her valuable lessons about herself.

“When I’m being true to myself, I can avail myself to extraordinary things such as this,” Nyong’o said.  “You have to allow for the impossible to be possible.”