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Lupita Nyong'o at the 2014 Oscar Nominees Luncheon

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The 2014 Oscar Nominees Luncheon took place Feb. 10 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nominees gathered to have lunch, pose for photos, receive their official Academy Award nomination certificate, and do interviews. (The 86th annual Oscar ceremony takes place March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC has the live U.S. telecast of the show at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST.) Here is what this Oscar nominee said when doing a brief press conference interview in the Oscar Nominees Luncheon’s press room.

LUPITA NYONG’O

Nominated for:
Best Supporting Actress
(“12 Years a Slave”)

What has this awards-show process been like for you? Is it what you expected it to be?

I didn’t expect anything. There’s no way I could’ve dreamt any of this stuff up. It has been an incredible journey and continues to be that. It’s an adventure and a very exciting one and a very rewarding one and a very revealing one as well.

You were born in Mexico. Do you do any celebrating with tequila?

[She laughs and says in Spanish.] I don’t know. I like Mexico It is part of my history. [She says in English] I have a warm place in my heart for Mexico, as I do for my other country as well: Kenya. I have been celebrated in both places and also America and it seems in many different parts of the world. And that is a humbling experience to have so many people embrace you and to have so many people identify with you. And that’s the beauty of film: that it brings people closer together.

What does this Oscar nomination mean for your career at such an early age?

That’s a good question. It’s a recognition of the highest. Everybody regards the Oscars as the ultimate stamp of approval. I don’t know. I guess we’ll see.

For more info: Academy Awards website

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