"What I've learned for myself is that I don't have to be anybody else and that myself is good enough," the "12 Years a Slave" actress tells reporters backstage.
Lupita Nyong'o, winner of the best supporting actress Oscar for her work in 12 Years a Slave, stood in front of a room of reporters backstage and admitted that she felt a "little dazed."
"I can't believe this is in my hands," she said, holding up her statue. "I cant believe this is real life. I'm really overwhelmed."
The actress, who made her feature film debut in Steve McQueen's drama, has had a whirlwind awards season, topping it off with a win at the Academy Awards.
"What I've learned for myself is that I don't have to be anybody else and that myself is good enough," she told reporters. "When I'm being true to myself, I can avail myself to such extraordinary things -- such as this!" Still clearly waiting for her win to sink in, the charming actress credited her parents for being her inspiration in keeping her grounded and focused on the work.
She added that many past nominees has also shared some words of wisdom with her as she embarked on the marathon that is awards season. "I think the message that I've gotten from many people who have been in this position is they've said from their hearts that the outcome doesn't matter -- that you've already won. The work has been done," she added.
Nyong'o has become a fashion icon throughout her first awards season, but backstage she emphasized that the Hollywood world was still very new to her: "This is my first time here, and I feel like Willy Wonka in the chocolate factory."