12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong'o has revealed that an encounter with Ralph Fiennes inspired her to fully commit to an acting career.

Speaking to New York magazine she explained that she met Fiennes while working as a production assistant on The Constant Gardener, "He asked me what I wanted to do with my life, and I very timidly admitted that I was interested in being an actor.

"He sighed and said, 'If there's something else that you want to do, do that. Only act if you feel you can't live without it. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was the thing I needed to hear."

Nyong'o then applied to study drama in Yale and the rest is history for the rising star.