Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o recently sat down with InStyle for their April issue. During the interview, she discussed diversity in Hollywood, what she did after her Oscar win, and, most interestingly, why she decided to shave her head.
When asked about the lack of diversity in the last two Oscar ceremony’s, Nyong’o, who is the last person of color to win the award, said, “It’s a disappointment that the nominations this year have not reflected some of the work of people of color, and I hope this moment helps fuel that conversation.” When asked about the Academy that honored her, made up of 94 percent white members, she answered respectfully, “There is a real imbalance, from the very creation of the stories and who’s telling them, how and why. Change has to happen with the writers, the studio, the marketers, the directors. That’s got to be diversified because there is a hunger for the expansion of the role of people of color in the center of narratives.”
Nyong’o remembered her sense of not knowing what to do next following the award she received for her role in 12 Years a Slave. “Right after the Oscars, I had no idea what I was going to do next. Zero clue,” she recalled. “There’s part of me that thought my life would go back to normal. Like at school. But it didn’t. I did not get out of that unscathed, you know?” The star got it together rather quickly however, and has since starred in the most recent Star Wars, lent her voice to the upcoming The Jungle Book remake, and is currently starring in the Broadway drama, Eclipsed.
The star also talked about her initial decision to take the plunge into the short-hair look that she made famous. At first she wasn’t positive about the decision. “I wasn’t sure if I could pull off [the bald look],” she told InStyle. “Because hair is the frame of the face, right? And we spend so much time on it, trying to get it perfect. It often defines one’s beauty and feminine value.” But she eventually sent caution to the wind and grabbed a pair of clippers. “Almost on a whim, I was like, ‘What if I didn’t have it?’ And so I shaved it all off — I was a complete baldy!” she says. “It was shocking at first, especially for my mom. But I learned to embrace my features. And I like myself a lot more now that I’m not constantly fussing over my hair.”
The April issue of InStyle will be available next Friday, March 18.
Catch up on what Lupita has been up to recently, including teaming up with director Ava DuVernay, with BET Breaks: