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.”
See photos: Oscars Red Carpet Arrivals
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.
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.”