“Us”, a movie by Jordan Peele, is nearing its release date (March 22).
Even though the release date is only two days away, it already has a 100% positive mark on Rotten Tomatoes. The movie stars Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o who played the role of a loving mother and a creepy, scissor-toting, probably murderous doppelgänger of said mother.
In “Us”, Lupita is being tormented, alongside costar Winston Duke, by a family who looks exactly like them.
In the past few days leading up to the cinema release, Lupita Nyong’o has been on a media promo round and we’ve loved following her ever-evolving style.
We’re also sharing some interesting things we’ve learned about Lupita during the media tour, like how she had to juggle two roles together for the movie; the belligerent and the peaceable characters.
“I was fairly terrified just reading the script,” Lupita Nyong’o says of her role in the movie.
So far Lupita Nyong’o has appeared on some of our fave talk shows including Late Show by Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America and Ellen DeGeneres’s The Ellen Show.
During her visits to these media, Lupita Nyong’o opened up on some of the challenges she faced while making the movie. She also revealed some of the reactions she has gotten from early viewers of the movie–which already premiered at South by South West last week.
Here are the 5 things we’ve learned from Lupita Nyong’O’s media tour:
“No, not when the scary thing is you.”
This is what Lupita tells Stephen Colbert on Late Show, when he asked if she gets scared playing a scary role in a really terrifying movie.
“Us”, being Lupita Nyong’o’s first horror film, has her juggling two major roles. First, as Adelaide Wilson who is traumatised over an issue that happened to her as a child; second as Adelaide’s terrifying doppelganger who shows up to take the original Adelaide Wilson’s family. Lupita Nyong’o admits it was pretty challenging taking on the role because she had no scene partner.
“In this film, we were the monster,” Nyong’o says, referring to both her role as Adelaide and the doppelganger. “We never acted with ourselves; we never saw our scene partners. So, that wasn’t particularly scary to shoot. [But] it was definitely technically challenging.”
As if she were still in character, Lupita Nyong’o wore yellow contact lenses to Colbert’s show, a thing the host says he will never forget.
“I meditate every day”
Lupita Nyong’o is a busy actress. She is known almost everywhere and this kind of thing, she says, takes it toll eventually. The Kenyan-Mexican actress, while responding to Colbert on Late Show, narrates how she went on a 10-day silent retreat in 2018 (somewhere outside Dallas) to just escape the noise outside. It has become a thing she now regularly does.
During this retreat, she meditates ten hours daily for ten days. Eye contact and access to a mobile phone are cut drastically.
Lupita also describes the 10-day silent retreat to Ellen DeGeneres:
“You’re allowed to ask questions at specific times of the day. But you’re not allowed to make eye contact with the other people on the retreat because the idea is for you to have a solitary experience. And really just face your own demons. So, all that silence, no electronics, no music, no TV, nothing, just you and your thoughts. And boy, did I learn a lot about my thoughts.”
“I had to go to some dark spaces within myself to find the doppelganger”
But the actress tells Ellen the experience was “incredible”. Nyong’o says the stark differences between the two characters she played in the movie made it hard work to pull off. She noted, however, that in spite of the differences between the two characters, there were some features binding them together.
“So, I had to go some dark places within myself to find the doppelganger, Red; do a crazy voice… That was a lot of fun to create and I enjoyed the experience. I spent a lot of time between takes sleeping, and trying to catch up with myself.”
Lupita Nyong’o scared a fan at the screening of the film
“I wasn’t even trying, that’s the thing,” she says when asked about the incident on the Good Morning America show.
She then proceeded to narrate what happened:
“I went to the toilet, as one does. And she came out of the stall before me. And I came out of my stall and she freaked out. She was washing her hands and when looked up she was like [she gasped] and just held her heart.”
This particular fan would later ask for a selfie after the episode died down.
“What’s scary about me is that I really like scaring people.”
Lupita Nyong’o explains how terrified her mother was of the film, even before it came out. When she [her mother] watched the film, she did so with her eyes closed and with her fingers plugged into her ears.
“So, she hasn’t really seen it. But a week before she came from Kenya and I lay in wait at the foot of her bed, before she got to bed and I got up and said ‘Are you looking for me?’”
Watch the videos of her interview below: