What Is Lupita Nyong’o’s Next Movie? Her Future, As Determined By Other Breakout Stars

All doubt has stopped encroaching on the idea that Lupita Nyong’o is a star. She’s spent the entire awards season soaring above the competition on the red carpet, in interviews, and during ceremonies. Last Sunday, the Mexican-born, Kenyan-identified actress topped even herself by earning the gold statuette for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars. It is a feat that left spirals of black women in tears. They were tears of pride, triumph — and yes — worry.

The glow of her win will soon fade. Black actresses that have stood behind the podium and accepted similar honors haven’t fared well after the credits rolled: Mo’Nique, a 2009 winner, is now hosting Love & Hip-Hop’s reunion specials on vh1. Conversations about her Precious co-star Gabourey Sidibe continue to revolve around her weight, rather than her next role. Octavia Spencer’s fairing a little better. She saw an amazing performance in Fruitvale Station last year, a movie the Academy snubbed. Whoopi Goldberg is a permanent member of The View’s panel, while Hattie McDaniel died while performing maid duties on the sitcom Beulah. Grave concern for Nyong’o’s future is warranted.

However, all hope isn’t lost. Nyong'o is currently fielding several offers for her next film, and already has another movie in theaters, the thriller Non-Stop.

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There are an array of women who were nominated or won the Academy’s Best Supporting Actress award in their debut role and embarked on wildly successful careers. Here are four of them.

Angela Lansbury

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London-born thespian Angela Lansbury headed to Hollywood in 1942. She signed to MGM and was cast in Gaslight and The Picture of Dorian Gray.

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Both films earned her Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. Though Lansbury didn’t win the award either time, she earned an honorary Oscar after spending 70 years dazzling audiences in movies and on television. She is best-recognized as sleuth Jessica Fletcher, the seminal character in Murder, She Wrote .


The show was one of the longest-running dramas on television, and earned Lansbury multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and awards.

Goldie Hawn

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Winning the Academy Award for her starring turn as Walter Matthau’s fiancée in Cactus Flower transformed Goldie Hawn from a meager television actress into a household attraction.


Hawn has since left an indelible mark on Hollywood. She’s had her own television specials, starred in multiple films (including the hilarious Death Becomes Her), and is now able to witness her daughter, Kate Hudson, following in her hot footsteps.

Oprah Winfrey

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To be fair, the Queen of Daytime Talk had already been dominating television for two years when she accepted the role of Sophia in The Color Purple. Sophia was Oprah Winfrey’s first movie role, and it earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Winfrey — and the entire The Color Purple cast — was snubbed in every category, but the role marked the beginning of Oprah’s prosperous film career, and solidified her status as a star.

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Anna Paquin

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Anna Paquin has been dazzling the world since she was 11 years old. Long before she entered the creature-filled swamps of Bon Temps, Louisiana, Paquin earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in The Piano. She was the second-youngest actress to ever win the coveted prize, and the win marked the beginning of her very successful acting career.

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Paquin starred as Rogue in the X-Men franchise and is currently prepping for the final (say it ain’t so) season of True Blood.

Jennifer Hudson

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The film adaption of Dreamgirls thrust first-time actress Jennifer Hudson into the spotlight. After a failed American Idol attempt, the power vocalist earned her real breakout role with the character of Effie White. Her excellent performance earned Hudson the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

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Since then, Hudson has forged a three-pronged career as a singer, actress, and Weight Watchers spokeswoman. She’s also starred in several successful films including The Secret Life of Bees and Winnie Mandela.