When Jordan Peele first approached her about starring in the upcoming film Us, Lupita Nyong’o considered their meeting to be a formality because she knew all along that she was going to say yes. “He was like, ‘And if you do this film, and if…’ and I was just laughing,” Nyong’o told BuzzFeed News’ Profile. “Because of course I’m going to do this film!”
Nyong’o’s enthusiasm towards joining Peele’s next directorial project had everything to do with his debut film Get Out, which she admits to watching five times in one month while shooting Black Panther.
“Black Panther was intense and time-consuming and all-encompassing,” she said. “But I found time to go to the cinema five times in one month while I was working on that film to watch Get Out.”
As she continued to dissect every little detail from Get Out over phone calls with her brother and best friend with each viewing, Lupita was convinced that she needed to work with Peele.
“He created a cinematic experience that we could grab and take with us,” she recalls. “It became such a joy to just live in his mind. I was just like, I need to work with that guy right there.”
That’s why when she was offered to join the cast of Us, Nyong’o accepted before even reading the script. Lupita, however, didn’t want her eagerness towards attaching herself to Peele’s latest horror flick to overshadow the importance of having “something to offer” in playing the role. “He’s so smart, and I could tell that this was more than just the surface,” she said. “And I wanted to really make sure I had an instinct for the thing he wanted to say.” And judging from the critics’ spoiler-free reactions to the Us premiere at SXSW Saturday, Nyong’o’s performance was “award-worthy” and “INCREDIBLE.”