Lupita Nyong'o's performance in the Oscar-nominated drama, 12 Years a Slave, is riveting and perfect, and her red carpet dress choices have been, too — so naturally, the world wants to know all about her. On Wednesday, Lupita Nyong'o appeared on Jimmy Fallon looking totally gorgeous and described her family and their reactions to her Oscar-nominated and Screen Actors Guild and Critic's Choice award-winning role — and they sound nothing short of amazing. But based off of how cool Lupita is, are we surprised?
"Both my parents are from Kenya, but I was born in Mexico, so they gave me a Mexican [first] name," she says. She has five siblings, and her father, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, is a Senator in Kenya. Her cousin is Isis Nyong'o, one of the 20 most powerful women in Africa, according to Forbes magazines. When asked by Fallon what Isis does, Lupita laughed and says, "Her job has something to do with technology, and she's just like... amazing." So basically... nobody puts Lupita in the corner.
Lupita's youngest brother, Junior, was so ecstatic over his big sister's Oscar nomination that Fallon showed a video he posted on Instagram after he found out about the honor. The clip shows Junior without his shirt on, smiling and clapping with the caption, "I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY SISTER #HAPPY CLAP ALONG IF YOU FEEL LIKE HAPPINESS IS THE TRUTH!! @lupitanyongo GOING TO THE OSCARS #notimeforclothes."
"He's amazing" says Lupita of her brother, who's a college freshman in Florida. "He lives in an exclamation point."
Fallon also remarked upon how funny it was that Emma Thompson photobombed her in a photo at the SAG awards, and how quickly it turned into a gif. Lupita said someone sent her the gif (and she pronounced it jif, like the peanut butter) and Fallon asked why she said it like that — and she said that's how she says it because someone corrected her once before. So boom. It's jif, people. Lupita said so.
The breakout actress, who was cast in the film just three weeks before she graduated from Yale University's School of Drama, said her parents were very proud of her Oscar nomination. Lupita told her father when she got the role, and asked if he knew Brad Pitt, who's also in the film. He replied, "I don't know him personally, but I'm glad you got a job." Oh, dads.
"[12 Years a Slave] is really beautiful. Im proud of how this film is opening people up to this time period, and also to each other," she says.
You can watch Nyong'o's interview with Fallon below: