*Depite walking away with the best supporting actress Oscar, the big question is what’s next for Lupita Nyong’o?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the chances look to be slim.
“While the stage would appear to be set for her to ascend to the A-list — just as Jennifer Lawrence did after her best actress win for Silver Linings Playbook last year — it’s not that simple. For while there have been a handful of African-American actors, from Sidney Poitier to Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and Will Smith, who have reached that status, there’s never been a black actress who has become the equivalent of a Julia Roberts or Angelina Jolie,” the publication stated. “Whoopi Goldberg came closest, following her best actress Oscar nomination for 1985’s The Color Purple and supporting actress win for 1990’s Ghost, but despite an occasional hit like 1992’s Sister Act, she didn’t maintain that momentum. ”
Hollywood also flirted with Angela Bassett, Thandie Newton, Halle Berry and, most recently, Mandela’s Naomie Harris, without ushering any of them into its very top tier.
One obstacle for Nyong’ o may be her dark skin as Hollywood has traditionally sided with lighter skinned black actresses.
“Would Beyonce be who she is if she didn’t look like she does?” TCA Jed Root talent agent Tracy Christian asked the Reporter. “Being lighter-skinned, more people can look at her image and see themselves in her. In Lupita’s case, I think she has two-and-half, three years. If she can find a franchise — a Star Wars or a Bourne Identity — a big crossover film, or if she’s cast by a significant filmmaker, then she’s golden, she’ll have carved out a unique path for herself.” Yes, she faces obstacles, agrees a prominent casting agent, but they are not insurmountable. “For someone who looks like her, with a distinctly black, African face, maybe she’s someone who can change the direction for darker-skin actresses, actresses who are definitely not European-looking, but it may require some forward-looking director to push for her.”
For more on life after Oscar for Lupita Nyong’o, click here.