Lupita Nyong’o covers the October issue of Vanity Fair and wow, is this a striking cover. The green is so vivid! And Lupita is crazy photogenic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of her. Lupita agreed to the cover to promote an assortment of projects, from her role in The Rise of Skywalker to the publication of her new children’s book, Sulwe. As per usual in the current era of VF, the cover story is overwritten and kind of tedious, but Lupita still shines. She’s not really saying anything new, but she’s smart and interesting. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
Two years past the Harvey Weinstein revelations: “There is definitely more of a sensitivity toward sexism, chauvinism, abuse,” and that many film sets often employ an “intimacy coach. In the past, when it came to physical combat, there were always consultants on set, but when it came to intimacy there was never, ever somebody present to help actors navigate that. Now you have that, which I think is a great inclusion, and ensures that those kinds of abuses don’t happen. I think there’s also at times an oversensitivity, which I just think is the nature of the pendulum shifting, and it takes time to find the balance. I’m quite happy that there is that kind of extreme change, and hopefully we find equilibrium as we move forward.”
On the speculation that she’s dating Janelle Monae or Michael B.Jordan: “I feel like there’s parts of myself that I care to share and then there are parts that I don’t.”
Learning to pick her battles: She fought “pettier” ones—but purpose clarifies itself, and her courage to speak out is innate. “I was born into a political family. My father was fighting for what he believed in. I think it was really just instilled in me that there are things in this world that are worth changing—part of living is about trying to transform the world into, you know…the world that we want to be a part of. As I prepare, I have to articulate to myself why I’m doing this. The secondary thing is definitely the people. When I choose projects, I want to have faith that as an artist it will speak to a time when it is needed as much as it speaks to me at the time that I make it.”
On Black Panther: “In Black Panther, I felt that the African experience was allowed to exist aspirationally. I think it’s more common in America to hear of the struggle of black people than it is to hear of the success. It’s more of a sensation to have a headline about a struggle, you know? ‘Lupita Shunned by People for Her Hair Texture.’ The struggle through having dark skin is clickbait. So when Black Panther came along…it was so refreshing to work on an African narrative that did not lead with the struggle of being African.”
There’s a ton of other quotes, about Black Panther and various other projects. She sounds crazy-busy and but she also sounds like she’s figured out some smart work-life balance. She prioritizes herself, her mental health and her physical health by taking meditation trips and that kind of thing, and she’s able to multi-task and keep a lot of projects and jobs in the air. Respect for Lupita!