Lupita Nyong’o, star of ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’: ‘I have overcome all my fears with this movie’

The Oscar-winning Kenyan-Mexican actress is the star of the sci-fi horror prequel, which takes place before ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘A Quiet Place Part II’

Un lugar tranquilo: día 1
Lupita Nyong’o, the star of ‘A Quiet Place: Day One.’

Lupita Nyong’o may be scary in her latest role, but she’s not afraid of anything. The actress of Kenyan descent, who was born in Mexico City, has starred in all kind of projects, from romance movies and animation to documentaries and Star Wars sagas... And now, the 41-year-old actress — who won an Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave — has decided to make a foray into sci-fi horror.

Nyong’o stars alongside Joseph Quinn in A Quiet Place: Day One, one of the most anticipated feature films of the summer. The movie is a prequel, taking place before A Quiet Place and A Quiet Place Part II, which were directed by John Krasinski and starred Emily Blunt. Krasinski was also involved with the prequel, but this time, the director is Michael Sarnoski.

In the movie, which premiered on June 28, Nyong’o plays Sam, a terminally ill cancer patient who must hide in the noisy city of New York from extraterrestrial creatures that hunt humans through sound. In the company of her inseparable cat, who has become the star of the film, Sam embarks on a search for salvation, in what is also a personal journey to feel alive again.

Nyong’o has been promoting the feature film and, accompanied by her mother, Dorothy Nyong’o, and her brother, Peter, attended the premiere on Wednesday night at the AMC theater in Lincoln Square, in New York. Fellow cast members Joseph Quinn, Alex Wolff and Djimon Hounsou also attended the event. The actress stopped to talk to EL PAÍS upon her arrival at the premiere.

Question. What was it like for you to join the franchise?

Answer. I have had a wonderful experience joining the A Quiet Place family. The first two films made a difference in the world of cinema, people loved them, and I feel honored to be able to carry on with that legacy. And I can’t wait to see what effect this film has.

Q. Was it a challenge to play this role, where you barely speak and had to rely more on body language?

A. Yes, it was, but it was so pleasant, and inspiring, and refreshing to be able to do away with words and turn to the way in which we really do communicate as human beings. We are always communicating with more than words, and when the words are stripped away, you have to get real honest with what you’re trying to say, like your body and facial expressions. So yes, it was a good acting exercise, I liked it, actually a good life exercise.

Q. What was it like working alongside actor Joseph Quinn (who is known for his role in the series Stranger Things)? You met when filming started.

A. I absolutely adored working with Joseph. He is in a class of his own. He is talented, he’s committed, he’s humble, he’s generous, he’s receptive. So, it was so easy to work with him. And we had a lot of fun and I think we grew a lot together.

Q. On Monday you visited the top of the Empire State Building to promote the release of the film. How was the experience?

A. I’m afraid of heights. This film has been getting over all my fears. But it was nice.

Q. What would you say to fans of the franchise?

A. I think the fans of the first two will be pleased to know that we’ve carried on with the touched tones of this universe, but we made it bigger and we are in New York City.

Q. Before making this film, you were afraid of cats. How did you overcome that fear?

A. I overcame that fear with a lot of help. Paramount hired a cat trainer to come over to my home with cats and expose me to them very, very slowly. I learned about their behavior and gained the confidence to touch them with one finger, and then two, and then my whole hand. And before you know it, I can carry one. By the end of this movie, I was madly in love with them.

Q. And now you have your own cat.

A. And now I have a cat of my own, or he has me. He’s my boss.

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