Imagine being a fly on the wall during this conversation. The Hollywood Reporter brought together six of Hollywood’s most successful actresses to talk about living and working in the entertainment industry. While vets Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson, Amy Adams, Octavia Spencer and Oprah all had years of wisdom, 12 Years A Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o had a refreshing take on her profession.
“My teacher at Yale, Ron Van Lieu, once said, ‘It feels like it’s all about you, but it’s not about you at all. It’s about the person you’re playing,'” she says about the best advice she’s ever gotten. “And that always helps me get out there and do the thing I’ve been hired to do. I am fighting for what my character wants, and if I’m pursuing that, then I’m good.”
The breakout star, who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and previously worked as a production assistant, says preparing for the historic film often took an emotional toll.
“It was tough. I knew I couldn’t go about it in any sort of method way because I would have not survived the experience. I was always so close to tears, and plenty of times, I’d be in my hotel room, just crying.”