Transcript 12 Years a Slave

LUPITA NYONG’O: [laughs] Yay! Being recognized by fellow actors is an honor of the highest order. And I want to thank all of you so much. I’m… [laughs] first of all, I want to thank the man without whom this would not have been possible at all, Solomon Northup, thank you so much for a life well lived and a story hard to tell, but told so well.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Steve McQueen. [applause] Thank you for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us a what it is we stand on. You are love personified. I want to thank Fox Searchlight, New Regency, Plan B, River Road, for making this film possible. I also want to thank my fellow actors, the ones in the film, of course, who embraced me from the very beginning, and I can now call my friends.

I also want to thank my alma mater, Yale School of Drama, for the amazing training. [applause] I want to thank John Ridley for the indelible words. Patty Norris, thank you for literally making me walk in someone else’s shoes. And Kalaadevi, thank you for making Patsey’s scars so, so real to me. And I want to thank Michael Buster and Beth McGuire for helping me find Patsey’s voice. And Faith Simpson for helping me find her heart.

And I also want to thank my family who have kept it real. My dad, I called him, he was the first person I called when I got this role. And I said to him, “Daddy, do you know Brad Pitt? I’m going to be in a movie with him.” [laughter] And he said, “I don’t know him personally, but I’m glad you got a job.” [laughter] So am I! So am I. Thank you. [applause]