Three years after winning an Oscar for her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong’o has taken over Hollywood in the best way possible. She’s consistently won the red carpet with her dazzling taste in couture, she’s teaming up with Rihanna to make the Internet’s dream movie a reality, and she took her alleged sexual harasser Harvey Weinstein to task with a searing op-ed in The New York Times. Now, she’s gracing Vogue‘s cover for the fourth time to talk the upcoming Black Panther movie.
On the cover, Lupita looks stunning in a glittering Dior bodysuit and cape-like skirt while balancing gracefully in tree pose upon a surfboard. Her athleticism isn’t surprising, however, when you learn about her love of working out to improve her flexibility and the mixed martial arts training she had to undergo for the action-heavy Black Panther. In the Marvel superhero adaptation, Lupita plays Nakia, the love interest and bodyguard of the leader of Wakanda, an African kingdom. Her Vogue profiler, Alexis Okeowo, wrote that in one scene, she has to transition quickly into combat mode while in a fitted dress and heels. “My character fights with anything: guns, spears, ring blades, shoes, glass,” she told Vogue. This required up to four hours a day for six weeks of training even before filming began.
Also awesome about Lupita’s cover? The hair, of course. Done by Vernon François, the actress’s natural texture was sculpted into divided, chunky sections that look like they could be jumbo cornrows, but actually appear to be loose hair shaped into sections. Come of think of it, it looks exactly like what one would imagine a futuristic, kickass bodyguard in a high-tech African kingdom would rock.
This cover’s rollout is significantly less drama-filled than Lupita’s previous cover effort for Grazia U.K., which got criticism from the actress and her fans when it was revealed that Lupita’s kinky puff was retouched out of the image. The magazine and photographer An Le have both come forward to apologize for the misstep. We’re just glad Lupita’s hair was left alone this time.
Elsewhere in the interview, Lupita confirmed that she is in talks about the Rihanna collaboration for Netflix, and said her screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah is “close to actually rolling camera.” She also said she loves trying new things, from pole-dancing to playing the ukulele. “I value not being good at things, because children are not good at things,” she told Vogue. And as for her love life, Lupita said that she prefers to keep it private. “You can ask, but you definitely won’t get an answer,” she said.
Read the whole interview here.
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