Lupita Nyong’o On Joining ‘Black Panther’: ‘The Little Girl Inside Me’ Was ‘Jumping For Joy’

As the newest cover star of The Hollywood ReporterLupita Nyong’o is gushing about her latest role in Marvel’s upcoming superhero film “Black Panther”.

Speaking with the magazine in a candid interview for their Jan. 25 issue, the 34-year-old Oscar winner opens up about her empowering, new role as Nakia.

RELATED: Lupita Nyong’o Talks Her ‘Brave’ New Marvel Movie ‘Black Panther’

“We were creating an aspirational world where African people are in charge of their own destiny,” Nyong’o explains of the film, which features Chadwick Boseman in the lead role. “And that really appealed to me and had the little girl inside me jumping for joy.”

Photo: Miller Mobley
Photo: Miller Mobley

When it came to preparing for the intense role, which began shooting in January 2017, the actress reveals she practiced the martial arts methods of “jujitsu and capoeira” and learned how to use her character’s iconic “ring blades.”

Related: Josh Gad Pulls Out All The Stops To Get Lupita Nyong’o To Give ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Spoilers

She recalls, “[Training] started off four hours a day, then it was reduced to two when I started bulking up – I remember coming home for Christmas and I couldn’t fit into my clothes.”

Photo: Miller Mobley
Photo: Miller Mobley

Despite her new warrior role, Nyong’o admits she still fights insecurities. “There is a part of me that will always feel unattractive,” she reveals. “That’s okay because it will keep me grounded […] I can feel beautiful and imperfect at the same time.”

Related: Lupita Nyong’o Shares Bombshell Harvey Weinstein Allegation, Felt ‘Sick In The Pit Of My Stomach’

Nyong’o then addresses her open letter back in October in the New York Times, where she made allegations of sexual harassment against disgraced Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein.

She tells The Hollywood Reporter, “I felt uncomfortable in my silence, and I wanted to liberate myself from it and contribute to the discussion. That was just what I felt I needed to do, quite viscerally. I couldn’t sleep. I needed to get it out.”

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