Lupita Nyong'o Pens Essay Following Journalist's Question | Playbill

News Lupita Nyong'o Pens Essay Following Journalist's Question The Tony-nominated Eclipsed star responds to a reporter who asked why she chose to act in "such a small play."
Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong'o, who received a 2016 Tony nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play for her work in Danai Gurira's Eclipsed, penned an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny newsletter following a journalist's question.

Nyong'o, who won an Oscar for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, was asked by a reporter, "Why would such a big star choose to do such a small play?"

The acclaimed actress writes in her essay, which is entitled "Why I Chose a 'Small Play' Over the Big Screen," "This question felt quite silly. I mean, I'm an actress; why wouldn't I want to be in an incredible, gorgeous, meaty piece about the complicated choices of women during wartime? But then it went deeper than that. To me it felt like a question about our value system in this culture, the ways we define success for ourselves as well as others...As an actress, feeling connected to a fully realized, complex character is what I look for first. The size of the role, and the budget, and the perceived 'buzz' around the project are much less important to me. As an African woman, I am wary of the trap of telling a single story. I decided early on that if I don't feel connected to, excited by, and challenged by the character, the part probably isn't for me."

Read the complete essay here.

Eclipsed was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play.

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