03:31 PM EDT 10/21/2013


Chewitil Ejiofor

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
5 Things to Know About 12 Years a Slave Star Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o: 5 Things to Know About the 12 Years a Slave Star

Originally posted 10/20/2013 09:20AM

Awards-show presenters: Learn the pronunciation now, because you'll likely be calling out Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o's name for the next several months.

The newcomer, 30, is garnering rave reviews and Oscar buzz for her gut-wrenching big-screen debut in the Brad Pitt-produced drama 12 Years a Slave, and she'll receive the new Hollywood award at the Hollywood Film Awards on Monday.

In the film, which arrives in theaters on Friday, she plays an abused plantation slave named Patsey opposite Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Here are five things to know about the It girl who is about to become a household name for her star-making performance.

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