“From Unknown to Oscar Winner: Lupita Nyong’o’s Journey through ’12 Years a Slave'”

Lupita Nyong’o attributes her rise in Hollywood to the influential role played by British filmmaker Steve McQueen, whom she describes as her “gate of destiny.” McQueen took a bold step by casting the then relatively unknown actress in his 2013 masterpiece “12 Years a Slave.” In the film, Nyong’o portrayed Patsey, a character at the mercy of a sadistic plantation owner brilliantly portrayed by Michael Fassbender. Not even Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, a free man abducted into slavery in the southern United States, could shield Patsey from the horrors she endured.

This pivotal role marked Nyong’o’s cinematic debut and swiftly propelled her to the pinnacle of Hollywood recognition. Her performance in “12 Years a Slave” earned her the coveted Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, while the film itself garnered numerous accolades, including the top honors of its time. A decade later, the film remains a poignant and significant portrayal of the brutality of slavery, its unflinching depiction ensuring its enduring legacy in cinematic history.

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