Lupita Nyong'o, who won the Actress in a Supporting Role Academy Award for her role as Patsey in "12 Years a Slave," tops this year's list of People magazine's "Most Beautiful."
"It was exciting and just a major, major compliment," Nyong'o, 31, told the magazine.
In the issue being published Friday, the actress talks of growing into her appearance only gradually. Her mother, Dorothy, managing director and public-relations chief for the Africa Cancer Foundation, "always said I was beautiful, and I finally believed her at some point," Nyong'o says. "She taught me that your presentation is an expression of how much you care about yourself and those around you."
She recalls having been a tomboy who "would never look in the mirror, never ever." Nyong'o later discovered she'd developed an undiagnosed skin condition. "I had very patchy, rashy skin, mainly on my face," she told the magazine. "My mother found some remedy in Madagascar, like herbs in a vial. Oh, it smelled terrible but it worked."
Her beauty idols, she says, are Elizabeth Taylor and Cate Blanchett. "Elizabeth was a curvaceous woman who was not afraid of the power of her femininity. Cate is a chameleon, and I love that about her. Her style is simple, classic and exciting."
Others on the list include Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Margot Robbie of "The Wolf of Wall Street," as well as such hot guys as Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of "Game of Thrones" and "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth.