Lupita Nyong’o ‘judges people on their emailing skills,’ feels disrespected by emojis


Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex takes part in a panel discussion convened by the Queen's Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women's Day in London on March 8, 2019. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / various sources / AFP)

Lupita Nyong’o covers the latest issue of PorterEdit, net-a-porter’s in-house online magazine. Lupita is promoting Jordan Peele’s Us, and you can tell she’s really excited about this one. But, I don’t think she can really talk about the plot of Us, which is why she spends so much time in this interview talking about the support she got in Hollywood right from the beginning, and other stuff. She even name-checks Jared Leto – Jared and Lupita have been friends for years, despite the rumors about him being a total sleaze. She doesn’t sound ride-or-die for him, but she does make it sound like she still considers him a good friend. Some highlights:

She was welcomed into Hollywood: “Starting with 12 Years a Slave, I was welcomed [in Hollywood] with such warmth. My castmates surrounded me. I don’t know if they are aware of this, but I felt so protected. Sarah Paulson: my God, that girl, she was like everything to me. And Alfre Woodard, she was invaluable. I would ask questions about my finances, where I should live, all sorts of things. [Woodard] had this dinner that she throws during Oscars season for all the black women in Hollywood… I didn’t feel alone within the black community, I didn’t feel alone within the Hollywood community…”

The men who looked out for her: “[Director] Steve McQueen really did look out for me big time. Brad Pitt, same thing. And Jared Leto, he’s still on speed dial, because we were on that [Oscar campaign] journey together and he’s so embracing of me. There was an intimacy that grew from that, that goes beyond the dating rumors, beyond all that.”

Whether ‘Us’ has racial commentary: “The racial commentary is that you have such a family in this genre, where we haven’t seen very many black families. But within the story itself, [race] is not what’s important. It lends itself to this idea that not everything is about race… There are other monsters in this world. Though the racial one is a big one, it’s not the only one.”

She developed a new fear working on ‘Us’: “I developed new fears [after working on Us]. I am terrified of my own reflection, which was really tough because I was staying in a house that had mirrors everywhere. My days were so long that when I’d get home from filming and it was time for me to shower, I was half asleep, and because it wasn’t my home, I would come upon my reflection and scream at the top of my lungs.”

Embracing her natural hair: “There’s been a whole revolution, led by African America for sure, where we are embracing our natural hair texture and returning to a past glory. You look at beautiful traditional hairdos from pre-colonial and colonial times and they have been erased from so much of our contemporary expression. I remember one of the first times I really saw African hairstyles preserved and celebrated as art was through the photographic lens of Leni Riefenstahl. I was 10 years old and had not truly seen images of natural pre-colonial hairstyles beyond our Kenyan borders. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with Riefenstahl’s work as a Nazi propagandist and that, in and of itself, is highly problematic, because this deeply colonialist, white supremacist gaze was introducing me to the people and hairstyles of the Nuba, Dinka and Shilluk of Sudan. Essentially, even when we as a colonized or oppressed people are engaging with images or notions of our ancestry, it is so often within a Eurocentric gaze. That idea has stayed with me.”

Don’t send her texts with lots of emojis: “I’m a stickler for grammar and I can’t stand spelling mistakes in text – and now it happens more and more. I’m that person: I’ll type a text message real quick and send it and then I’ll proofread it as I send it. I’m like, ‘Oh my God. There are so many letters I got wrong!’, and I’ll rewrite the text and resend it. I judge people on their emailing skills. I feel disrespected if someone just writes to me in emojis. I’m like, ‘Where are the words? Where is the time for wording?’”

[From PorterEdit]

Because I email so much in my professional life, I have to say that I haven’t noticed a slipping of writing skills. I make mistakes, other people make mistakes, but I’m never like “the email written word will never be salvaged!” Then again, I don’t email or text with the youths. I’m sure the youths are ruining WORDS. I don’t trust anyone who just texts endless streams of emojis. JUST USE YOUR WORDS. As for what she says about being embraced by Hollywood straight away… it’s nice. The Jared Leto thing is icky, but I also trust that she keeps him at arm’s length, and that their relationship is based on that shared experience of going through successful Oscar campaigns during the same year.

86th Annual Oscars Press Room

Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of PorterEdit.

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16 Responses to “Lupita Nyong’o ‘judges people on their emailing skills,’ feels disrespected by emojis”

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  1. Idiotsgalore says:

    Not quite the same, but I noticed many memes, fliers, Job postings with spelling errors. People just don’t care how they’re perceived when it comes to intelligence these days. Or they’re rushing so much they don’t have the time to proofread.

    • Canber says:

      Bad spelling is like BO. We’re all liable to have it sometimes.

      But some people don’t give a damn about showing it.

  2. Kk2 says:

    That cover shot is very cool.

  3. Stephanie says:

    She’s friend with Leto? Mess.

  4. BeanieBean says:

    Spelling errors are one thing, typos another. I notice them all, but anyone can make a typo. And I’ve been known to send a corrected email, as I watch my typo fly away after ‘send’. Or re-read my original email after someone responds & see it there. I blame a lot on auto-correct!

    • HeyThere! says:

      Auto-correct is the worst!! Lately, my iPhone had been auto-correcting my correctly spelled words to other words that are so random, but start with the same letter?! It is SO ANNOYING, and my iPhone is stealthy about it. Frustrating.

  5. Ifeoma says:

    This woman is 36!! She looks at least 10 years younger. I hope she wins another Oscar for this movie, 12 years a slave was annoying as f**k and I refuse to acknowledge it.

    I’m so excited for this movie. Jordan Peele and Chelsea Perreti are one of my favourite Hollywood couples and it’s nice to see either of them killing it.

    • Patty says:

      I’ve never heard anyone describe 12 Years as annoying; Steve McQueen did a good job with the source material. It’s an incredibly hard movie to watch but I wouldn’t say it’s annoying.

  6. Peaches says:

    Us millennials like emojis ❤️❤️❤️

  7. Lynnie says:

    I used to think emojis were unprofessional and wouldn’t use them. I still think they’re unprofessional, but I use them a whole lot more now 😂. I get how she feels about grammar though. Lately there’s been this trend of all lowercase everything and it’s aggravatinggggg to read. Especially when the person is ranting about something. Just looks like a stream of letters and hurts my brain 😫.

    The lack of professionalism in email is an all ages thing. I cannot tell you the amount of times I write a formal and grammatically correct email to a professor and then get back “ok cool see u next class” as a response loll

  8. perplexed says:

    I think emojis can change the tone of something to make it seem friendlier. In that sense, I think emojis can be useful.

    But I get what she means in a general sense. Perhaps using emojis WITH words is something we can all come to a compromise on.

  9. Jess says:

    I love her but I really just came here to say that her cover pic for Porter that you posted above is breathtakingly beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous.

  10. Truth says:

    Brad Pitt protective? Only of himself my dear. He used you and the movie to only elevate himself as some power HW mogul producer. That movie came in when everyone was on that allwhite Oscar trip. And as a black woman I disagree that he is the wokest man in HW. It’s a facade he uses. I agree with both his ex wives about everything about him. Jen thinks he is a selfish, unapologetic, wannabe artist and Angie flat out called him a weed headed drunk image prone wreck. I’ll take that.

  11. Originaluna says:

    I call myself a grammar snob because i despise bad grammar. Not typos per se, but bad grammar. The other day I was reviewing/proofreading a colleague’s newsletter, and I just grew tired of trying to make sense of what she was trying to convey. It wasn’t wrong, but the wording and the sentences were just .. off.
    Believe me when I say, Portuguese is a whole a challenge in what regards to grammar.

    Ps- I also realize my english wording is weird but I’ll ride on the “don’t make fun of someone with bad english, as it means they speak more languages”. I speak four. But I try very hard to speak and spell correctly.

    OAN Lupita is everything. She’s gorgeous. And that’s about it.