FULL COVERAGE: '12 Years a Slave'
"12 Years a Slave" centers on the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man in the North who is abducted and sold into slavery in the South. Nyong'o's Patsey, a standout slave for Michael Fassbender's plantation owner, is raped and beaten, all while trying to find a shred of dignity to cling to. The film was nominated for best picture, and director McQueen and costars Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor are also Oscar nominees.
Before starring in McQueen's film, Nyong'o acted onstage in "The Winter's Tale," "Uncle Vanya" and "The Taming of the Shrew." Nyong'o recently hit the big screen alongside Liam Neeson in Jaume Collet-Serra's thriller "Non-Stop."
Nyong'o was one of the favorites to win the award, though many pundits singled out Jennifer Lawrence, who won the supporting actress Golden Globe for her role in "American Hustle." Nyong'o's fellow nominees also included Sally Hawkins in "Blue Jasmine," Julia Roberts in "August: Osage County" and June Squibb in "Nebraska."
The 86th Academy Awards are being held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.