Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o

We’re celebrating International Women’s Day (8 March) by making Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o our first Women Crush Wednesday for the month.

Lupita captured Hollywood’s heart when she hit the red carpet promoting the Steve McQueen movie 12 Years A Slave where she plays Patsey – a role that earned her not only her first Academy Award nomination, but also a win for her supporting role.

Here are five facts about the Mexican-Kenyan actress:

1. Right now, Lupita is taking a break from filmmaking, but if you find yourself in New York, you can see her on Broadway. Lupita is in the play Eclipsed, set in Liberia, which was written by Zimbabwean actress and The Walking Dead (Mondays at 21:00 on FOX) star Danai Guirira.



2. Lupita obtained a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama (just like three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep). Shortly before graduating from drama school, Lupita auditioned for the role of Patsey, which she won and played phenomenally.

3. Lupita was born in Mexico and her parents sent her back during her teenage years so she could learn Spanish. She is also fluent in Swahili, Luo and English.

4. When Lupita isn’t entertaining on film or on stage, she’s using her voice to highlight issues that are important to her. Last year, she became a global elephant ambassador for WildAid.

5. She’s a great Trevor Noah fan! And Trevor Noah is a great fan of Lupita Nyong’o! And we like it when Africans are each other’s biggest fans. (You can see Trevor on The Daily Show, Tuesdays to Fridays at 21:00 on Comedy Central.)