The Kenyan actress has gone from being virtually unknown to an Oscar nominee in the last few months, and is still trying to get her head around what being a star means.
She told New York magazine: "I've been in a bubble. I haven't been out much. I haven't gotten used to being recognised. I was blissfully ignorant of the magnitude of the project I was in or what it was going to mean for the world."
Lupita, 30, moved to Hampshire College in Massachusetts to study film and coming to live in the US after being raised in Kenya was a culture shock.
She added: "I thrive on structure. I find my freedom in structure. It was very hard to adjust to an individualistic and very liberal system. I mean, my upbringing, I would iron my clothes every night. I would plan what I wore the night before, and then I would iron it. That's just the way my mom raised us. Then I got to Hampshire, where clothing is sometimes optional and all this kind of thing. I was mortified."
Lupita - who is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category at this year's Oscars for her role in '12 Years A Slave' - also talked about the moment she was told by director Steve McQueen she had won the role, after going for dinner with him.
She said: "I wanted to bask in the sun and take in the last 24 hours, wrap my head around what had just happened. I sat on the pavement, immediately terrified and intimidated by the entire thing."