Lupita Nyong’O is keen to prove her funny side by starring in a comedy.
Following her Academy Award-winning turn as Patsey in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, actress Lupita has starred in a string of hits including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Jungle Book.
The 33-year-old also appears in the upcoming Disney biopic Queen of Katwe, in which she plays Nakku Harriet, the mother of a young Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi.
While Lupita selects roles which expand both the range of her performances and conventions of the industry, she also hopes to add another string to her bow at some point by appearing in a comedy.
“I think that that is a challenge I would wish upon myself,” she told redeyechicago.com. “It’s very vulnerable to be funny. I did it in graduate school and it terrified me, and I want to do it some more.”
The sketch Lupita refers to was called The Really Big Fat Show, and her role was that of a clown. Imagining the elegant star sporting a clown costume may be difficult now, though Kenya-raised Lupita is never one to shy away from breaking the mould.
For instance, one of the reasons she was drawn to Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe was because the director is committed to portraying an African perspective with layered characters.
“Here we have a story with a director who knows this place and respects this place, loves this place, and can really tell the story from the inside out,” she said. “So you have this authenticity to it. I think the conversation can only change when the storytellers themselves are more inclusive.”
Lupita is more than willing to use her stardom to promote diversity in Hollywood, but she asserts that the movement requires many individuals to come together. And she is certain that the release of her new film marks a shift in thinking by industry bosses.
“We are about to open Queen of Katwe across America,” she smiled. “I think that is a major change.”