The big night is often followed by your appearance on talk shows; magazine covers and many more red carpets.
And if your name happens to beLupita Nyong’o, the break out star we all came to know from her role as Patsy in “12 Years a Slave,” you even become the fashion world’s new ‘It’ girl.
But when it comes to Hollywood using its imagination to cast you in a juicy role for your follow up film, which is probably what you desire most, the chance of this happening, at least so far, increasingly points to….not so much.
Aside from a brief cameo appearance as a flight attendant in the action film Non-Stop, and talks to her potentially starring as the mother wolf in the remake of The Jungle Book, the 31-year-old actress has very few credits on her Hollywood resume.
Clearly, Hollywood does not know what to do with her.
In the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly, writer Mark Harris addresses this as he talks about Nyong’o’s upcoming film role and her future as an actress in his article: Black star, white ceiling: Why can’t Lupita Nyong’o find a role worthy of her?
“Hollywood is handed a beautiful, talented, Yale School of Drama-trained actress of color, and what does it come up with? Well, let’s see … she could be an animal. In the Third World,” Harris writes. “When the people who make movies look at Lupita Nyong’o, they see a slave, a stewardess, and an ‘exotic.’”
During an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon, Harris, author of Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, discussed the lack of dignified film roles for Nyong’o.
“Slave, steward, and exotic are literally her first three film roles. She was a stewardess in Non-Stop, she is an exotic of sorts in Jungle Book, and she was a slave in 12 Years,” Harris said.
“I can understand that because she doesn’t look like most Hollywood actresses, and because people have only seen her in one part, they don’t automatically have the answer of can she be an action heroin along the lines of Angelina Jolie? Could she do a romantic comedy? That should be explored.”
“I’m not condemning Hollywood for refusing to employ actresses of color. I don’t think that’s the case at all. I’m asking them to use their imagination more in considering them for roles that aren’t purely based on what they look like.”
Head over to Entertainment Weekly to read Harris’ article in its entirety. And pick up a copy of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on newsstands now.