Lupita Nyong’o, 30, stole the hearts of viewers as she graced the stage of Thursday’s 2014 Critics Choice Awards in a white cut-out gown from Calvin Klein Collection. As she accepted her award for Best Supporting Actress in “12 Years a Slave”, Nyong’o gave a touching speech.
“I’m a little terrified,” she confessed, after taking the stage. “I’m so honored to be here and I just want to thank the BFCA for this incredible honor. This has been an incredible year of excellent performances, and in my category I feel so honored to be with the likes of June Squibb, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson . . . Julia, thank you so much for making my brother the coolest guy in school by taking a picture with him […] Being a part of “12 Years of Slave“ has been one of the most profound experiences of my life. I could not be standing here had it not been for [author] Solomon Northup and his love and passion for freedom. And also, I could not be here without the courage of Plan B, New Regency, River Road and Fox Searchlight. And of course the incredible, incredible [director] Steve McQueen,” Nyong’o added, getting choked up.
She continued, “Steve, your passion, your dedication, and your smile inspired me every day on set and it continues to inspire me now. I want to thank my team and my family for their support. I would like to dedicate this to my uncle . . . who always came to watch every single play I was in. On one of the last performances he saw me in he said, ‘You’re good, but let’s see what Hollywood thinks of you.’ He didn’t live to see this day, but I’m sure he’s proud of me.”
According to the Huffington Post, most awards experts expect the Oscars’ Best Supporting Actress race to come down to either Nyong’o or Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle.” Nyong’o and Lawrence are both up for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the winner of that trophy will likely move to the forefront of the Oscar discussion. The SAG Awards are presented on Jan. 18.
Lawrence took the Golden Globes’ supporting actress prize this year. At Thursday night’s Critics’ Choice Awards, however, it was Nyong’o who won Best Supporting Actress, and the “12 Years A Slave” star provided awards season a memorable oration. Watch the emotional moment below.