Lupita Nyong’o Was Totally Freaking Out Filming Us

Lupita Nyong'o in Us

After years of being primarily known for his comedic work, Jordan Peele proved he can handle horror material exceptionally as well with his directorial debut, Get Out, which later netted him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Now Peele has returned to the horror realm with Us, although judging from the previews, this movie looks much gorier Get Out did. One of the stars, Luptia Nyong’o, was definitely frightened while filming Us, although more because what she was being asked to do was daunting. As she explained:

Whenever I start a film, I am my worst enemy for sure, and this film was no different. For a second there, I really was worried for myself that I would give up and buckle and just be like, 'Jordan, I think you need to find another actor, because I just don't have what it takes.'

In case you’ve missed the Us trailers, the movie stars Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide Wilson, who’s on vacation with her husband, Winston Duke’s Gabe, and their two kids, Evan Alex’s Jason and Shahadi Wright Joseph’s Zora. But what is supposed to be a relaxing time with friends turns into a nightmare, as the Wilson family is found by a group of strangers that look just like them called The Tethered. So in addition to playing the normal Adelaide, Nyong’o is also bringing to life her monstrous doppelganger, the leader of The Tethered.

Playing one role in a movie can be hard enough, but two is especially difficult, and Lupita Nyong’o was worried she didn’t have the chops for what Jordan Peele was asking for her is Us, to the point that she almost back out of the movie. However, she changed her mind after others inspired her that she was talented and could handle the dual roles. She continued in her interview with ET:

I was playing not one, but two characters in the same movie and I was panicked, because usually I have the time it takes to prepare for one film and [even then], the critic in my head is powerful, and she knows how to freak me out. It took having people I love around me who could remind me of the things I wasn't able to see for myself, and to build that confidence.

Lupine Nyong’o added that one of the things that attracted her to performing in Us was the opportunity to work with Jordan Peele, as she admired what he’d done on the Comedy Central series Key & Peele. A few months after she decided she wanted to collaborate with Peele, she received the Us script from Peele, and after some initial trepidation, she officially boarded the project and the rest is history. Us also allowed Nyong’o to reunite with Winston Duke, as the two previously starred together in Black Panther.

Us, which also stars Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Anna Diop, premiered last week at SXSW, and it will be released in theaters on March 22. As for what else is coming out later this year, check out our 2019 release schedule for that information.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.