Woman Crush Wednesday: Cynthia Erivo

Happy June, friends! I’m following up Motivation Monday with another installment of Woman Crush Wednesday, and this one goes to the fabulous Cynthia Erivo, who has become a breakout star in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. So much so that she’s earned her first Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical (and won a couple awards for it too). What that means is that you should probably be paying attention to her. She’s out of this world. And here are just a few reasons why:

The Color Purple

Let’s start with her current job, shall we? Cynthia plays Celie, the main character of The Color Purple (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie). If you’ve never seen the musical, just know it’s V emotional, and Cynthia recently performed one of the most heart-wrenching numbers in the show called I’m Here on Stephen Colbert. You should probably grab some tissues before clicking play on this one.

RIP Prince

Cynthia is part of an amazing cast which includes Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black) and Jennifer Hudson (who’s since left), so when the holy trinity and the rest of the stellar cast took the stage the night Prince died, it was only fitting for a show titled The Color Purple sing Purple Rain in the best way they knew how. Take ’em to church, fam.

JHud’s Successor

Speaking of Jennifer Hudson… I don’t think you’re allowed to become a Broadway diva or true belter if you don’t sing your own version of And I Am Telling You from Dreamgirls. This was pre-The Color Purple on Broadway (Cynthia played Celie in the 2013 production of the show), but months later, she was sharing the stage with the same woman who won an Oscar for this role in the movie. And now they’re besties (just watch this tribute song to Jennifer for her last show). It’s cute. This video, however – is fierce.

Following in Whoopi’s Footsteps

Although she’s been an actress/singer for years, her big break didn’t come until 2011, when she played Delores VanCartier/Sister Mary Clarence in the UK tour of the Sister Act musical. If you’re thinking a Sister Act musical would be no bueno, I assure you it’s more entertaining than you think, and the score is delightfully delightful. Just like the movie, Delores is the main character of the story, and in the musical, her songs are infused with a lot of gospel-tinged tracks. Like this finale number which looks ridic out of context but is better in the show itself. Cynthia werks those runs like no one’s business.

She’s Superwoman, It’s Fine

If you go through Cynthia’s Instagram, the ratio of gym to regular pix is like 4 to 1. It’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s #goals. Woman is not messing around. Her tickets to the gun show sell out faster than to The Color Purple. She recently ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon. And then went off for a two show day. SHE RAN 12.1 MILES THEN SANG AND DANCED AND ACTED FOR TWO SHOWS WHAT EVEN. I can’t even run a single mile then be expected to work at a desk for the rest of the day my GOD.

She’ll Out Sing You At A Bar

Just once I’d like to be in a bar where Cynthia Erivo decides to randomly belt out a tune in front of all the people. Here she is singing a song from one of my favorite shows, The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown. JRB’s music isn’t the easiest to sing, but she makes it seem like she’s effortlessly belting the ABCs or something. For you JRB-heads out there, Cynthia was also in another one of his shows, Songs for a New World, along with her boyfriend Dean John-Wilson (who is legit Aladdin. in London).

She Slays

If you weren’t left impressed with the Jason Robert Brown, maybe a Beyonce cover will help? We all know Beyonce kills her vocals, and there are millions of people on YouTube who try to do as well as her. But when Cynthia does it, she makes me believe the song was meant for her (no disrespect to my queen B). But simply put, Cynthia slays.

Woman Crush Wednesday: Tori Kelly

Sometimes it takes a while for people to catch on to truly talented artists. And while there will unfortunately always be super exceptional singers and musicians out there that will never get the recognition they deserve, there are times when, as Oprah says, “Luck is preparation meeting opportunity”. That is exactly what happened to Tori Kelly.

Tori is a California native who realized her talented at a young age, and because she grew up in a post-American Idol world, she auditioned for shows like Star Search and America’s Most Talented Kids (where she beat out country heartthrob Hunter Hayes).

Because of her appearances on reality competition shows, she signed a couple of record deals but those fell apart. So like Justin Bieber, she took her talents to YouTube and became one of the biggest singers to come out of the early days of YouTube fame. One of her most notable vids was of this mashup with another popular YouTuber, a beatboxer, as they covered Frank Ocean’s Thinkin’ Bout You.

This is when I first heart of Tori Kelly’s name, but I didn’t think anything much of it besides a passing viral video. There were other videos that were far more stupid than this that I had to give my time to. By 2010, Tori was old enough to try out for the big leagues – American Idol.

Simon wasn’t a fan and never really was throughout her tenure on the show, which was shortlived after she was cut just before the Top 24. But, the journey obviously wasn’t over for her there.

In 2014, Scooter Braun, you know, the dude responsible for making Justin Bieber from Usher cover singer on YouTube into BIEBER, signed on as her manager, and slowly but surely, she made a TV appearance here, had a song in a soundtrack there, and now it seems as she’s finally hit her stride.

More and more people are starting to notice Tori for her pure talent, and it’s not only that, but her perseverance through the slow burn, if you will, to get to where she is now.

She performed Should’ve Been Us, the latest single from her new album Unbreakable Smile, on Live! With Kelly & Michael recently, and it was the first time I heard the song, more specifically, an acoustic version. I’m a sucker for acoustic versions, and I S2G, I rewatched this over and over again because I could not believe how amazing she sounded. #THOSERIFFSTHO

From there, I obviously had to go back to her back catalogue but also research recent performances, like this other acoustic one of her lead single Nobody Love:

Or her tribute to Smokey Robinson at the BET Awards:

Or the time she covered Ed Sheeran:

And the time she collaborated with Ed Sheeran:

And the time she almost outsang Ariana Grande:

Whatever the case may be, I’m so glad I found a new powerful female artist to obsess over, and I hope you do too.

Listen (or buy) Tori’s latest record, Unbreakable Smile! I swear I’m not getting paid for this.

spotify:album:30QwSnTFUhCGee32ng1tvL

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Sofia Vergara

It’s Woman Crush Wednesday again, and today it’s all about the muy linda Sofia Vergara, who you might have seen a lot of the past few weeks. She and new BFF Reese Witherspoon are on a mega press tour for their new movie Hot Pursuit (this is not a sponsored ad, btdubs), so the two have been everywhere. Pretty much every talk show has been covered, every premiere, celebrity event and radio show – they even presented at the ACM Awards – that’s the Academy of Country Music Awards. Yes, Sofia was wondering what she was doing there too.

But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how deep my love ran for Sofia Vergara. The moment came when I caught myself smiling through an entire interview. I started to question my sanity, then figured out it was all because Sofia was saying the most ridiculous, funny things and I couldn’t help but smile. Anyone who brings that much joy into your life deserves to be crushed on, and here are just a few reasons why.

Single Mom Respect

Although she’s currently engaged to one of the hottest men on the planet, Sofia was previously married to her high school sweetheart at the age of 18, had her son Manolo at 19, and divorced her now ex-husband at 21. She had Manolo right when her acting career in Colombia was taking off, and anyone who can handle both life as an actress and a mom – let alone being a mom by herself – is worth commending.

She’s Gone Through Shit

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? Sofia was just two semesters away from graduating college with a degree in dentistry (that’s right, she could’ve been all up in your mouth), but she was discovered on the beach by a photographer that noticed she was special. Slowly but surely, she got a lot of jobs in her native Colombia, but she broke into the American market through Univision shows and being, you know, hot.

But Sofia moved to Miami not only to try her hand at becoming famous in the States, but also to leave a troubled Colombia behind. In 1998, her older brother Rafael was murdered during a kidnapping attempt, and it’s just one of the many deaths that plagued the country during the 90s.

By 2000, she had scored a few minor roles on U.S. TV, but she was sidelined when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 28. She had her thyroid removed and underwent chemotherapy, and thankfully made a full recovery. She is a big advocate for organizations like Stand Up To Cancer, but you won’t see her playing the ‘I had cancer/Woe is Me’ card any time soon.

She Knows She’s Hot

I find it annoying when hot girls play off their hotness in order to attract more attention to them. Like, ‘Oh, I look horrible in that dress, you can see all my fat!’, said Hollywood actress. No. You’re freaking beautiful, stop it. Sofia has grown up knowing she has assets (lit’rally) that work to her advantage, and she embraces it. Just like you should love your imperfections, you should also love the great parts of your body too. Confidence is believing in yourself – every bit of you.

She’s A Great Comedic Actress

Even if you think Modern Family is played out by now, you have to appreciate that she is still one of the best parts of the show. It’s why she’s received four Emmy Award nominations. Sofia plays a Latin mom, who’s married to an older white man, and integrates into a family as an “outsider”. On paper, it’s funny, and she makes Gloria even funnier. Plus, if you’ve seen any of her movies or even hosting SNL (HUNGER GAMMEESSS) , you know she’s just got natural comedic timing, that’s – dare I say – reminiscent of Lucille Ball. Sofia’s getting a Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame on Thursday, and while it takes some actors decades to be honored with the coveted prize, it’s taken her just a few years, because honestly, she’s just that good.

She’s Straight Up Comedic

Honestly, if you’ve got time to kill (or don’t), just search Sofia Vergara talk show interviews on YouTube or go to her Modern Family co-stars’ social media accounts. You find her playing hidden camera pranks on Ellen, starring in German makeup commercials with Ellen, sleeping with tissue on her face, and even serenading the Modern Fam crew with a “Christmas Carol” while handing out presents. Just yesterday she appeared on Jimmy Fallon and played Catchprase. You could tell the press tour had worn her out, but it somehow provided an even more entertaining version of the game, because when she gets tired, her English slowly fades away. Bless you Sofia.

 

Woman Crush Wednesday: Cristin Milioti

We’re smack dab in the middle of fall TV premiere week and while we count down the hours to the #Scandal premiere with wine in hand, we’re also ready to try out some of the new shows. We covered some during our TV Week, and among the ones we’re super excited about is A to Z, starring everyone’s favorite Mother, Cristin Milioti.

Cristin is relatively new, considering she’s been specific roles to different groups of fans, and it’s about time she be recognized for the excellent talent she is. So in honor of A to Z starting next week, we’re dedicating #WomanCrushWednesday to one of our favorite “new” actresses, Cristin Milioti.

The Mother/Tracy ‘Not a Plot Device’ McConnell/TM

Let’s get this out of the way right now. If you’re not caught up with the series finale of How I Met Your Mother and don’t want to be spoiled, STOP READING NOW. Also props for managing to not find out the outcome for so long.

The series finale was a polarizing one, to say the least, and we lean towards the unfavorable side of the coin. Not to see we hated it completely, but we would’ve liked to see a happier ending. You know, with less death. To pull a Ted, let’s start from the beginning. The moment she walked up to the train ticket booth and said ‘One ticket to Farhampton, please’ I SCREAMED at my TV because I knew her as Broadway’s Cristin Milioti (more on that later).

cristin

I was so excited because knowing her style, she seemed like the perfect fit for the love of Ted Evelyn Mosby’s life. In the final season when they had scenes together, it felt worth it. That the wait to meet Her over the past nine years had culminated in Ted meeting and falling in love with his perfect match – even the Victorias and Stellas and Jeanettes were all worth it because Tracy was ‘better’ than them and it was clear just by the chemistry between her and Ted.

And then the conspiracy theorists turned out to be right. Everything we (me) hoped wouldn’t happen did, and Tracy, this perfect human, died from a mystery illness and Ted really completed his full circle love affair with Robin at the end. Whatever your position on the ending may be, I think we can all agree that Tracy was a good match for Ted, and it wouldn’t have been perfect without the brilliant talent from Cristin.

 A Girl and Her Ukelele

One of Cristin’s shining moments on the show is this short, sweet, heart wrenching clip of Tracy singing La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf, which Ted hears for the first time while sitting outside his hotel at Robin and Barney’s wedding. The emotion she brings to the song is just as impressive as Edith’s original version, but in a slightly different way. Ted’s enchantment with her singing is one of the first glimpses of his initial connection with his future wife and gave me the gossebumps watching it. Fun fact: Cristin learned the song on ukelele just for the scene.

 “Tony Award nominee Cristin Milioti”

Like previously mentioned, I first found out about Cirstin when she got cast as the lead role of Girl in the Original Broadway Cast of Once. Even though I never got the chance to see her in all her glory live, I’ve made my way through the soundtrack more times than I care to share. When paired with Steve Kazee, the two make a super couple with one magical musical baby, as evidence by their duet of the hit song Falling Slowly, as seen above. It’s nearly impossible not to cry (okay, it’s possible, but I’m just a baby who can’t keep her emotions in).

 She’s a Sexy Baby

And now for something completely different, the same year Cristin made her debut in Once, she appeared in a standout episode of 30 Rock, which deals with sexism in the workplace. The show Liz Lemon runs is accused of being misogynistic, so she hires a female writer played by Cristin named Abby, who turns out to be provocative and really stereotypical. It was one of the most memorable episodes of 30 Rock and it’s hard to believe Cristin in the same girl as Girl or The Mother based on this alone.

She Has Leonardo DiCaprio’s e-mail, Probably

Cristin is originally from Cherry Hill, New Jersey and calls herself “Olive Garden Italian”, but in Wolf of Wall Street she plays Jordan Belfort’s (Leo) first wife Teresa, who looks like this:

So I feel like maybe this role was one of the most relatable for her…?

She has a Drunk Personality

If it makes you feel any better, Cristin, I don’t think ANYONE can recite the alphabet backwards while pointing to their nose. It’s nearly impossible to do sober, so your argument is valid.

We Would’ve Been A Part Of The Same High School Clique

I went through a really good-looking phase from birth to 9. And then things went crazy. I don’t know what happened, but between 9 and 14 it was really, really rough. I didn’t have a lot of friends. The only ones who were nice to me were the theater kids. And they were like, ‘You can come and join us. No one likes us.” {x}

In high school, Molly and I fell under the category of theater kids, but the kind that wasn’t completely hung ho about it, closer to that of the lower sports clique. Think Cool Asians, as opposed to Asian nerds. Cristin is one of our people, and not afraid to embrace her love for the stage like us, and I appreciate that.

She Rules The Rom Com

There are only a number of shows I’m super excited about watching in the coming weeks, and A to Z, starring Cristin and Mad Men’s Ben Feldman is one of them. If you like HIMYM, you’ll probably like this show. It tells the story of a couple’s complete dating history – and they only date for 8 months. Cristin puts on the charm and so does Ben, and together, you start to question your ship for Tracy and Ted Mosby. (A to Z’s pilot is on NBC.com, but premieres on October 2nd on NBC!)

Woman Crush Wednesday: Kerry Washington

Let’s be honest. Do I really need to explain why Kerry Washington is our Woman Crush on this Wednesday (and everyday, TBH)? Since Scandal has left us hanging by the thread of Olivia’s white coat after last week’s finale, I figured us Gladiators can get our mini-Kerry fix this week with a love letter to the woman in the white hat herself.

From her early beginnings as the annoying sister (who has a soft spot for true love) in Save the Last Dance, to a D.C. fixer who has a penchant for red wine and jam (not necessarily together) on #Scandal, Kerry has captured our hearts with her superior acting, but moreover with her beauty and grace. Here are just a few more reasons why we think this momma-to-be is the bee’s knees.

She’s No Dummy

I feel like there are two types of actors. The kind that dropped out of school to chase after their dream of making it big, and the ones that were always at or near the top of their class, most likely a graduate of some kind of drama school like Yale/NYU/Julliard etc. Kerry falls into the latter group. After attending one of the best prep schools in America, she went to George Washington University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in anthropology and sociology. I mean, whoa. I can barely even tell you what anthropology is besides the incorrect spelling of an overpriced clothing store I KID, I KID. Needless to say, she’s got brains to back her beauty. What do you expect when your mother is a professor and educational consultant?

Her intelligence is apparent in her various philanthropic and political extracurriculars, such as serving as a board member for The Creative Coalition and a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Kerry is also on the board for the organization V-Day, which is dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. And since Barry O selected her to the Arts committee, it’s no wonder she’s supported him all through his term, even speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She may be an actress, but you can tell she’s not just there for the publicity – you can feel her passion for the cause.

She’s Inspirational

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relatedly, Kerry doesn’t seem like one to ever phone it in. Everything she says, she says it with purpose, with thought behind it. If she has an opinion, she means it. If gives praises to a co-star, she’s not saying it to be in their good graces, it’s because she actually likes being around that person. When she talks about an issue that’s close to her heart or a message she wants to get across, it’s because she truly believes in it. Kerry has a certain confidence and grace that all women should aspire to have. But let’s be clear, I’m not saying we should be more like Kerry. I’m saying be inspired by Kerry and be the best you you can be. Carry yourself with your own grace and confidence and maybe you might just be able to inspire others too.

She’s a Fashion Darling

Believe it or not, Kerry wasn’t always the red carpet stunner that we know and love today. Exhibit A: She legit wore an “I ❤ NY” tee to an event. Bless. In her defense, it was 2001. But over the years, she’s come to embrace and love fashion. Being the life-long student that she is, Kerry admitted that she took it upon herself to earn a degree in ‘red carpet style’, and studied it like it was her job. Literally.

“OK, I’m going to admit this: There were a couple of actresses whom I felt were having the upper hand career-wise — because they knew how to work that red carpet. I was like, ‘I’m missing a really important tool. If I am the CEO of the Kerry Washington Corporation, my marketing department is really lax.’ So I sort of developed a new character: Red-Carpet Kerry. And I researched her like any other character. I actually called Tracee Ellis Ross, who’s a good friend, and literally asked, ‘How do you pronounce Hermès?’ Red-Carpet Kerry needed to know.” {x}

See – girl is no dummy. To prove her faux degree paid off, here are just some of my favorite looks from KW over the years.

Stella McCartney – 2013 Project Runway finale @ New York Fashion week

Marc by Marc Jacobs – 2013 ABC Upfronts (and WERKing it)

Michael Kors – 2013 MTV Movie Awards (To this day, probably my favorite look of hers ever. I dream in color block)

Giambattista Valli – 2013 TCA Summer Press Tour (seriously, how are you so beautiful)

Oscar de la Renta – 2013 NAACP Image Awards (yet another one of my faves)

Louis Vuitton – 2013 Django Unchained Photocall in Berlin. (I’m in a super violent Tarantino film, but look how adorbs and mod I am! LOOK AT MY BOW HEADBAND!!!!!)

Miu Miu – 2013 Golden Globes (Remember when Kerry first got these bangs and she looks wicked fierce? Yeah.)

Giles – 2013 Django Unchained Premiere in London (Move over bitches, there’s a new A-lister in town and her name rhymes with Shmerry)

Miu Miu – 2013 Oscars

Vince Camuto – 2013 Variety’s 5th Annual Power of Women Luncheon

Prada – 2014 SAG Awards (Sometimes when I feel like shit in an outfit, I remember that KW wore a crop top to one of the most important industry awards shows WHILST PREGGO and I feel better about my life choices)

She’s FUNNY, Y’all!

So we know she can handle dramas, but we’ve never really seen her do comedy. However the moment she was announced as a host for Saturday Night Live last year, I knew she was going to kill it. And she did not disappoint. Sometimes it’s really frustrating as a fan of both the host and SNL to see good talent go to waste on bad sketches – but this was NOT the case with Kerry’s episode. Every single sketch was hilarious, so much so that I still have it on my DVR. If you can’t find it online, you’re welcome to come to my place and we can fangirl over Kerry together.

She’s loved by everyone she works with

Like we’ve done with Amy Poehler and Tatiana Maslany previously, a good indication of a person’s character is judged by what their friends and peers say about them.

“I root for Kerry. She’s got a fantastic show, Scandal. What’s amazing about her – the evolution of Kerry Washington to play the woman she plays in Django and then to see her play this beautiful woman taking care of business on Scandal, it’s amazing.” Jamie Foxx {x}

“On a personal level there’s never been a better friend. But on the, like, at work, because Number One sets the tone of everything. I don’t even know how to quantify to you how thoughtful Kerry Washington is. I mean she will call you, text you from Italy on a press tour, to make sure you have shoes to wear to a luncheon. Or, you know, cause these moments are so new to most of us in the cast and it’s great we get to meet them together as a family. But Kerry’s always there to make sure that we’re okay. She always checks in, before you even know that you need to be checked in on, you know, she’s like “so how are you with…?” She’s got the biggest heart. There’s no one, possibly ever, as committed as she is. I mean she is your tireless cheerleader. She works from 3 in the morning ’til 11 o’clock at night. She’s happy and she’s there for you and she cheerleads like you- You can hear her screaming “I LOVE MY JOB!” down the hall. Tiny little person, very loud. But yeah, we’re all lucky that we get to do this job at all. My family of people is lucky because the project is so amazing and because we’re all grateful people. But to have her be the jewel in this crown is the biggest blessing of all.” Bellamy Young {x}

“Three words to describe Kerry Washington: Grace, Beauty, Brilliance… Times a million!” Katie Lowes {x}

“Kerry is an incredibly intelligent, politically minded, hilariously funny, warm person. I’m one of her biggest fans. As a human being and as an actress.” Dan Bucatinsky {x}

“So graceful, really really lovely, terrific human being. And she manages to look amazing on every red carpet she steps on to.” (Scandal Executive Producer) Betsy Beers {x}

“We’re proud of her talent and enjoy getting to work with her and have a wonderful collaboration and she’s an amazing person.” Shonda Rhimes {x}

“I had really been dying to work with Kerry Washington. We knew each other a bit, I really loved her as a person, and I was such a huge admirer of her work. When I heard the combination of Shonda and Kerry, I thought, OK, this is going to be interesting…  Kerry and I just have this subliminal connection as people and as actors, which contributes to our physical chemistry on-screen together. She is – in addition to being one of the best actresses in America- an extraordinary team leader on our show. She approaches her work with this ferocious enthusiasm and work ethic that’s not at all self-serious. She sets an example for all of us of how to be fun and work hard. So working with her is just—you’re always challenged by her and inspired. With some actors, you end up talking about the scenes, figuring it out. Kerry and I never have to talk about anything. We always seem to be coming from the same place, and both of us are actors who tend to throw ourselves into whatever we’re doing. We just really trust each other, and it’s always thrilling, I think.” Tony Goldwyn {x}

“I #CelebrateKerry because her assistant called my agent and told me to do so.” Josh Malina, all around jokester {x}

Woman Crush Wednesday: Lupita Nyong’o

It’s Wednesday, so you know what that means –  no, not ‘Hump Day’ – it’s everyone’s favorite themed day of the week, Woman Crush Wednesday!

Today we’re crushin’ on a lady who has been a favorite of ours for a few months now, but in light of recent events, I think it’s time to share our adoration for her to the world on this #WCW.

Lupita Nyong’o is someone we never saw coming, never could have dreamed of being a real person, and turned out to be everything we ever wanted to be in life. If it seems like she came out of nowhere, well, it’s because she pretty much did.

Her story in a nutshell: Her Kenyan parents were living in Mexico when she was born, because her dad was a politician/college professor teaching in Mexico. It’s Kenyan tradition to name your child after the events of the day, hence, en espanol, ‘Lupita’. They eventually moved back to Nairobi, but when she was 16, her parents sent her and her sister back to Mexico to learn Spanish (yes, she’s fluent, obvs). She went on to graduate with a BA in Film and Theatre Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, then got her BFA at the Yale School of Drama. While a Senior at Yale, she auditioned for 12 Years a Slave and booked her famous role as Patsey BEFORE she even graduated. Yeah, 12 Years a Slave was her very first film role ever. You know the rest.

Now that you know her story, here are just a few reasons why WE love Queen Lupita. And to be honest, if we could, we would dedicate every #WCW to our wannabe best friend, but since we don’t want to look too desperate (or crazy), we’ll just do it this one time, but just know she’s in our hearts this Wednesday and all the Wednesdays for the rest of our lives.

She Is A Fashion Icon

Besides her excellent work as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave, I think it’s safe to say that Queen Lupita (QL) really got everyone’s attention with her on point style. Namely, that little Ralph Lauren cape number she wore to the Golden Globes. She had kind of been flying under the radar before that moment, one of those newcomers you knew about and were interested in, but didn’t get too much publicity in the media. Until that night at the Golden Globes. Homegirl came on that red carpet like, ‘I am here to stay!’

Since then, style pros and amateur fashionistas alike were (impatiently) waiting what QL would wear on all the red carpets moving forward. And she did not disappoint. I could easily post all her perfect gowns here, but using the handy photo above, it’s worth noting the green Dior (BAFTAs), Turquoise/teal Gucci (SAG), obvi the dreamy blue Prada (Oscars) and the white cutout Fifth Element type dress by Calvin Klein (Critics’ Choice).

It’s important to note that although this style seems all by QL, celebs get help from stylists to find the perfect dress, and my other new girl crush is on Lupita’s stylist, Micaela Erlanger.

Micaela is a Parsons The New School of Design grad, and also styles the likes of Lady Mary aka Michelle Dockery and Winona Ryder. She ranked number 3 on The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Power Stylists, and  no doubt does she deserve that position. I’d say bump her up to number one next year.

She Could Be a Model

I’m gonna let these pictures speak for themselves.

Lupita Nyong’o by David Slijper For Glamour March 2014

Oh, JK , turns out she is a model – for Miu Miu’s Spring 2014 campaign, at least.

Photo Mar 21, 7 28 49 PM

The time I tried to be a model like Lupita… Basically the fact that I sat exactly where she took this pic is reason enough for me to believe we’re soulmates

She Has A Way With Words

When Lupita talks, it’s like we’re floating on a cloud on a warm spring day. Captivated by every word, I could listen to her speak for hours. You know how people say if you’re a good singer, you can sing the entire phone book? Well I could listen to Queen Lupita say the entire phonebook AND I would somehow be compelled to call every single person in said phone book and tell them about how great she is.

Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact.

And of course, her Oscars speech…

And like her Essence & Oscars speech, she is well aware of the fact she is now a role model to thousands of young girls and women…

I feel very fortunate to be in this position, and I know that it means more to people because I am an African and I am dark-skinned. In many ways, me being on the scene is doing for little girls everywhere what Oprah Winfrey and Whoopu Goldberg did for me. My world exploded by them being on screen. Hopefully I will inspire and be meaningful to other people. But I can’t take on other people’s dreams for me. I can only dream for myself. {Entertainment Weekly)

She’s a #Gladiator

ANYONE WHO WATCHES SCANDAL IS OKAY IN MY BOOK (but really, can we talk about this show tho, Lupita??)

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Screenshot 2014-03-11 02.04.14

She’s a Fangirl Like Us

As you can see, QL is a fangirl for Scandal, but also of a lot of other people in the biz. She mentioned that during Awards season, especially at the Golden Globes, she made a checklist of all the celebs she wanted to meet at the event. So she proceeded to do so and take pix with them and she’s basically living out our dreams.

View this post on Instagram

#GoldenGlobes checklist: hug @lenadunham - CHECK!

A post shared by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

“#GoldenGlobes checklist: hug @lenadunham – CHECK!”

“#GoldenGlobes Checklist: say hello to #JessicaChastain – CHECK!”

“#GoldenGlobes Checklist: say what’s up to#OscarIsaac – CHECK!”

“#GoldenGlobes Checklist: introduce best friend to#MerylStreep and #JuliaRoberts – CHECK!”

“#GoldenGlobes Checklist: meet #LeonardoDiCaprio and tell him how much I have loved his work since I was 14 – CHECK!”

“#GoldenGlobes Checklist: meet my acting heroine #CateBlanchett – DOUBLE TRIPLE CHECK! #GameOver”

“AND THEN I met Sidney Poitier!!!!!!!! My Inspiration My Example My Hope My Gold Standard Words cannot express my joy and amazement in having this dream encounter come true. #Blessed! #Oscars”

“Geeking out over meeting the BADDEST#BryanCranston at the #AFIAwards2013.#BreakingBad #KillingMeSoftly”

She Loves Oprah (And Oprah Loves Her)

While the list of people who don’t love Oprah is very short, Lupita’s love for Oprah is of note because she was inspired by the ultimate Queen and it’s like her life has led her up to this – to becoming BFFs with O.

When Lupita first met Oprah last year, it was at a roundtable talk for The Hollywood Reporter (watch this adorbs vid of Lupita talking about the moment she met O). This interview is where a bunch of frontrunners for the Oscars get together and talk about life and their craft. While a lot of actors can make this look pretentious, Lupita makes it endearing and intriguing and even brought tears to my eyes.

{Watch the whole interview here}

Since then, they have clearly become friendly, as Oprah even invited Lupita’s mom and brother to her house for lunch – WITHOUT Lupita there!!! Needless to say, I am jealous of each of them.

She’s a fan of 90s TV Shows

Listen, if you’ve been following us for a while, you know we love ourselves some 90s/00s nostalgia. In this interview with Jimmy Kimmel, QL talks about the shows she watched as a kid that introduced her to the American culture – and what she did when she rode her first rollercoaster (Step by Step inspiration included)

So now that we’ve shared our love for her, feel free to share your love for her too! And Lupita, if you’re listening, we’re available to watch Full House with you too.