Lupita Nyong’o ‘Terrified’ of Her New Play ‘Eclipsed’
Actress Lupita Nyong’o knew she had to star in Eclipsed as the play’s subject matter left her horrified. The Academy Award-winning actress (12 Years a Slave) portrays the character The Girl in the forthcoming Broadway production, about a group of captive wives of a rebel officer in the Liberian Civil War.
Nyong’o found the script, written by The Walking Dead star Danai Gurira, absolutely harrowing and her distressing reaction prompted the 33-year-old to sign up as part of the cast. “It’s one of those things where I don’t think I can really identify what it was, and I don’t care to really find out why,” she explains to Variety of what motivated her to portray The Girl. “It’s the part I felt I was called to play. I don’t know. It terrified me, first of all. The character I play, The Girl, terrified me. The whole play terrified me, and that’s why I knew I had to do it.” Eclipsed follows the captive women as their lives are thrown into further chaos when more dangerous people are introduced to the group and Nyong’o admires the way Gurira approached the sensitive subject. “What Danai has done so captivatingly is that she has created this story about these women in unimaginable circumstances, and she has given each one of them agency, and also a chance to have their story told,” Nyong’o notes. “It’s a real ensemble piece, and I love that, because it gives every single person equal opportunity and equal commitment to the story and to their parts. With the actors that I’m doing it with, it’s just always surprising. Very committed and dangerous. When we get up on that stage, you do not know what will happen.” Eclipsed, which enjoyed an Off Broadway run last year, is currently in previews at the John Golden Theater. It opens on Sunday, March 6, and runs until June 19.