award for female actor in a supporting role Saturday night for her role as Patsey, a favored but abused slave in
's "12 Years a Slave."
It was the first nomination for the Mexico City-born, Kenyan-raised actress. Nyong'o was three weeks shy of graduating from the Yale School of Drama when she was cast by McQueen in her breakout role.
"From the moment Steve called me to offer me the part to the moment we wrapped -- and maybe a few weeks after that -- I couldn't sleep. The place I had to go emotionally, the intimidation of working with these actors -- there was a lot going on in my head."