"Lots of people are telling me about this EGOT," says the Eclipsed star the day after her first Tony nomination

By Carey Purcell
Updated May 04, 2016 04:45 PM
Jenny Anderson/Getty

“May the Fourth be with you!” says Lupita Nyong’o with a big smile. But the actress, who recently appeared in Star Was: Episode VIII: The Force Awakens, is only celebrating one thing on May 4th: the six Tony nominations that were bestowed on the play Eclipsed.

“I’ve got so much more to celebrate right now,” she continues. “All my celebrations are on Eclipsed,” referring to the new play by Danai Gurira, which follows a group of women who are held captive by a rebel officer during the Liberian Civil War. Nyong’o plays The Girl, the youngest of the women, who, struggling to survive, is pulled into the brutality of the war.

Eclipsed marks her Broadway debut, but the Oscar-winning actress is not new to theater; she took the stage for the first time as a child playing a passerby in Oliver!. And she quickly confessed her love of Hamilton, the hip-hop musical that received a record-breaking total of 16 Tony nominations.

But she knew she wanted to do Eclipsed the moment she read it.

“I hadn’t seen anything like it you know?” she recalled. “I’d never seen five African women onstage telling their story.”

With her nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play, Nyong’o, who received an Academy Award for her performance in Twelve Years a Slave, has already been nominated for two of the most prestigious honors in the entertainment industry. But, she said, she isn’t working towards EGOT status – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – at least not consciously.

“Lots of people are telling me about this EGOT. It’s definitely something I’ve heard,” she says, laughing. “I’m not thinking about it though.”