Jordan Peele’s solo directorial debut Get Out was one of the biggest movies of 2017, inspiring actress Lupita Nyong’o while she worked on 2018 hit Black Panther. Peele’s vision was so engrossing to the Oscar-winning actress that she saw the movie repeatedly, determined to work with the filmmaker someday.
“Black Panther was intense and time-consuming and all-encompassing,” Nyong’o told Buzzfeed. “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. [Peele] created a cinematic experience that we could grab and take with us. It became such a joy to just live in his mind.”
“I was just like, I need to work with that guy right there,” she said.
Her wish soon came true; she was later approached to lead his latest film, Us.
“Of course I’m doing it! Whatever it is,” she said. “Now, let me read the script.”
The 12 Years a Slave actress went on to describe her chilling experience reading the horror screenplay.
“I read the script kind of with one eye, being like, ‘Oh god, oh god, oh god,’ and my shoulders are going up up up up up,” she said. “And I finished, and was like, this is amazing. Also, what is it about? Like, what else is it about? Because I could tell it was more than met the eye.”
Nyong’o said she would’ve committed to just about any Peele project but still knew how important it was for her to truly connect with the story.
“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.”
Us debuts in theaters on March 22.