Where is Lupita Nyong’o from? Lupita Nyong is from Mexico City, though she grew up primarily in Kenya. Nyong’s father, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, was a prominent politician in that African country, serving as minister of medical services before becoming a member of parliament. Nyong’o, a superstar and Oscar nominee thanks to her performance in “12 Years a Slave,” “grew up in the limelight,” as she told the L.A. Times, so she was never “bedazzled” by fame.

The answer to the question “where is Lupita Nyong’o from?” may surprise some movie fans, as she’s certainly no one’s idea of a “Mexican actress.” As it happens, Nyong’o nearly wasn’t an actress at all. She only considered a career in drama in college, when she was home on break one summer from Hampsire College in Massachusetts. The film “The Constant Gardener” was filming in her neighborhood, and she scored a job on set as a production assistant. The acclaimed actor Ralph Fiennes, a star of the movie, warned her about acting, saying it was “unforgiving,” but Lupita was obviously up for the challenge, and she’s now an Academy Award nominee.

The question “where is Lupita Nyong’o from?” is one “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen might have asked when he auditioned the unknown talent for the role of Patsy. He’d been through hundreds of potential candidates, but this striking Mexican-born newcomer had the fearlessness and naiveté needed to play Patsy, a character beaten and raped over the course of the film.

Where is Lupita Nyong’o from? In the end, it’s not important. She now lives in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, and come the 2014 Academy Awards — set to take place on Sunday, March 2, in Los Angeles — she may grab hold of that Best Supporting Actress Oscar statue, a trophy recognized around the world.

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