Los Angeles, Feb 12: Lupita Nyong'o, who made her debut with Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave", credits Ralph Fiennes for her acting career.
She says that Fiennes gave her the encouragement to chase her dreams while she was working as a runner on the set of "The Constant Gardener", reports eonline.com.
She said: "He asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I very timidly admitted that I was interested in being an actor. He sighed and said, 'If there's something else that you want to do, do that. Only act if you feel you can't live without it.'"
"It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was the thing I needed to hear," added the actress who went on to graduate from Yale University School of Drama's Acting programme in 2012.
After her debut in McQueen slavery drama, Lupita will next appear alongside Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore in "Non-Stop" but claims she still hasn't come to terms with her success in "12 Years a Slave" and new-found fame.