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Red carpet fame frightened Lupita Nyong'o

Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o was frightened by the attention she received on red carpets after her starmaking role in 12 Years A Slave.

The actress was a relative unknown when she appeared in Steve McQueen's 2013 slavery epic, for which she won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in her first major movie role.


Lupita admitted walking the red carpet at awards shows in those early days was a scary experience for the star, who was entirely unused to the attention she received.


"It was actually quite scary and discombobulating to have lots of men running towards me with cameras, to look back to see what they were running after, and it was me? It was very jarring," she tells The Guardian.


However the star says that her friends and family helped her cope with the sudden onset of the pressures of fame.


"The one thing that made it all manageable was my intimate relationships because they have been constant," she explains. "My mother still calls me to ask whether I've had my breakfast and that doesn't change because I won an Oscar."


The 33-year-old came to stardom later than many young actresses, but she is glad she didn't find fame at a younger age as by the time she was famous she had already built up a solid support network.


"Oh, God, I don't even want to know," she says when asked how she would have coped with becoming a movie star in her early 20s. "I still have friends who tease me about the same things they used to tease me about before. I am eternally grateful for that, this happened at a time when I knew who my day ones (oldest friends) were."


Lupita's latest movie, Queen of Katwe, in which she plays the mother of a Ugandan chess prodigy, is released on Friday (21Oct16).