“Us” star Lupita Nyong’o covers the latest issue of Porter magazine photographed by Paola Kudacki and Styled by Tracy Taylor.
On being welcomed in Hollywood: “Starting with 12 Years a Slave, I was welcomed [in Hollywood] with such warmth. My castmates surrounded me. I don’t know if they are aware of this, but I felt so protected. Sarah Paulson: my God, that girl, she was like everything to me. And Alfre Woodard, she was invaluable. I would ask questions about my finances, where I should live, all sorts of things. [Woodard] had this dinner that she throws during Oscars season for all the black women in Hollywood. Being invited to that basically [felt like] my TV had exploded in the room because all these actresses were there. No cameras are allowed and people just have candid conversations. Oprah embraced my mom and my brother and invited them to her house for lunch without me. I was just like, ‘Wow, this is an incredibly supportive industry.’ I didn’t feel isolated. Gabrielle Union: we’d gone to a fashion show in France together and she’d been so open and embracing, exchanging phone numbers with me – there was a ‘you need anything kind’ of vibe. I didn’t feel alone within the black community, I didn’t feel alone within the Hollywood community…”
On experimenting with her hair: “My hairstylist Vernon François is great. Though [his styles] may be fresh, they’re not original. We look at images [from the past], then apply it to who we are today. I think part of it is that when my previous hairdresser said he didn’t know what to do with my hair, I didn’t know what to do with my hair either, because I hadn’t seen [what was possible]. I was just in Benin [in West Africa] and I saw this woman with a gorgeous hairdo and I took a picture of it. I was like, ‘Okay, research.’ When you see it, then you know it can happen and then you can make it happen. For me, the red carpet and [shoots like] this are opportunities to provide another image that can be a reference for some girl somewhere with hair like me to get creative.”
On developing new fears [after working on Us]: “I am terrified of my own reflection, which was really tough because I was staying in a house that had mirrors everywhere. My days were so long that when I’d get home from filming and it was time for me to shower, I was half asleep, and because it wasn’t my home, I would come upon my reflection and scream at the top of my lungs.”
Cover: Saint Laurent Dress from the Spring 2019 Collection
First Image: Valentino from the Spring 2019 Collection
Second Image: Brandon Maxwell from the Spring 2019 Collection
[Photo Credit: Paola Kudacki/Porter Magazine, vogue.com]