'The Jungle Book' actress Lupita Nyong'o: 'I channeled my own mother, who is fierce and unwavering'

Actress Nyong'o portrays Raksha, Mowgli's adoptive wolf mother, in the live-action remake of 'Jungle,' which is directed by Jon Favreau. 'As a woman, I think we all have it somewhere in us and it was about finding it,' she said.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
'The Jungle Book' stars Lupita Nyong'o.

Lupita Nyong'o's career has moved well along since her Academy Award two years ago, yet she's still basking in the glow of her Oscar win.

"I never expected to win in the first place, so I didn't have any expectations as to what life would look like after that, but I'm happy. I'm a really happy person. I love my life," said Nyong'o at the world premiere of "The Jungle Book" in Los Angeles.

Nyong'o, who won best supporting actress in 2014 for "12 Years a Slave," currently stars in Broadway's "Eclipsed" and is back on set for "Star Wars: Episode VIII."

Nyong'o voices Raksha, Mowgli's adoptive wolf mother in Jon Favreau's live-action remake of "The Jungle Book," in theaters April 15. The film co-stars actors including Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, and Christopher Walken, among others.

"I channeled my own mother who is fierce and unwavering in her motherly ways," she said of the role. "I just think as a woman, I think we all have it somewhere in us and it was about finding it."

Director Favreau spoke recently about how he took on the story in an interview with Yahoo.

"People expect action from this adventure," Mr. Favreau said. "The original film felt so young. And the musical memories we have from that film [don’t] fit tonally with a film that’s photo-real, where there’s real danger and emotional stakes. The storylines and the mythology behind Kipling’s stories are very different from the animated film. Navigating those waters is one of my toughest jobs as the director."

Nyong'o will reprise her role in the highly anticipated "Episode VIII," but in true "Star Wars" fashion, Nyong'o remained tight-lipped about the project.

"It's really cool," she said of working with the franchise's newest director, Rian Johnson. "The adventure continues, you know, and it's never a dull moment on that set."

"Episode VIII" is slated for a December 2017 release.

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