CHICAGO (WLS) --Lupita Nyong'o burst onto the Hollywood scene with an Oscar-winning performance in "12 Years a Slave."
Now, she stars in the new movie "Queen of Katwe," which takes us to her homeland for a story about chess and how it makes the human spirit soar.
Filmed in Africa with an African cast and directed by a woman, the movie is a true tale of a young girl Phiona Mutesi from rural Uganda whose life rapidly changes when she is discovered to be a chess whiz and subsequently a champion.
"It's the kind of film that opens the world's mind as to what it means to be African and what life is like on the continent people often see Africa and Africans as a backdrop to foreign stories and here we have the Africans front and center in their own narrative," Nyong'o said.
Nyong'o stars as the girl's mother, Harriet, who fiercely protects her family from outside influences. This is her first live action film since "12 Years a Slave."
"I am so glad it's this film, a film that means so much to me," she said. "A film that is homegrown from East Africa just across the border where I'm from and it's so uplifting."
David Oyelowo plays the chess teacher.
"He's dedicated to making this story work," she said. "We sparred so well together and he is so encouraging."
Next up for Nyong'o is her first role in a Marvel superhero movie, "Black Panther."