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Nyong'o: Jackson inspired Patsey

Lupita Nyong'o said she based her 12 Years A Slave character partly on Michael Jackson: Photo © Nyong'o: Jackson inspired Patsey Photo

Lupita Nyong'o has revealed that Michael Jackson was an unlikely inspiration for her 12 Years A Slave character.

The acting newcomer, who has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Bafta for her debut as slave Patsey in Steve McQueen's harrowing drama, admitted she based some of her alter-ego's traits on the late musician.

"There's something very Michael Jackson-like about Patsey - the childlike quality he always had," she told Dazed And Confused. "She had her childhood stripped away from her suddenly as soon as she became of sexual age."

Mexican-born and Kenyan-raised Lupita - who graced the magazine's front cover of the February issue - revealed Whoopi Goldberg is her role model.

"The first time I thought I could be an actor was seeing The Color Purple," the actress said.

"Whoopi Goldberg looked like me, she had hair like mine, she was dark like me. I'd been starved for images of myself. I'd grown up watching a lot of American TV. There was very little Kenyan material, because we had an autocratic ruler who stifled our creative expression."

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