Home World Lupita Nyong’o Says Adopting a Cat Helped Her “Severely Broken” Heart

Lupita Nyong’o Says Adopting a Cat Helped Her “Severely Broken” Heart

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Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o has opened up on overcoming her fear of cats, recovering from a breakup so bad her mother flew to be by her side from Kenya, and what she believes to be the worst part of her job: interviews.

Ironically, the star sat down with Glamour to talk about her upcoming role in A Quiet Place: Day One, releasing on June 28, where her character owns a cat. “I asked the director Michael Sarnoski if there was any way that we could change the animal,” Nyong’o said. “I suggested an armadillo; he was not having it.”

But after some intense “cat therapy,” Nyong’o was so besotted with the animal that she adopted her own after the shoot. It coincided with a particularly gut-wrenching break-up, following her announcement on Instagram that she had split from boyfriend Selema Masekela in October last year. (She has since been photographed with Dawson’s Creek alum Joshua Jackson). “I was flirting with depression,” she said. “I wasn’t there yet, but I was flirting with it. And I had a voice say in my head, ‘Get a cat.’”

Nyong’o credits her cat Yoyo for pulling her out of a “super-low” point as she grappled with a “severely broken” heart. Her mother hurried to be by her side from Kenya, as did one of her best friends. Arriving at Best Friends Animal Society in search for a pet, she saw a sign. “There was a poster that said something like, ‘Not over your ex? Foster a cat.’ It was spot-on.”

The actress discussed her Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave in 2014 and the ensuing fame frenzy. “I didn’t think I was not going to win,” she said. “I hoped I would win. How could I? It was my first film. I had absolutely no expectation; I cannot stress that enough.”

She also touched on what she thinks is the biggest downside of her job. “Interviews,” she explained, describing press junkets as like a “torture technique,” where “different people are being ferried in” to ask the same questions. “You have to give each one of them attention, focus, and an articulate answer that you just gave to the person before,” she says. “That’s irritating.”

Nyong’o’s role in the A Quiet Place prequel is a young woman who, while on a day trip to New York City, finds herself in the middle of an alien invasion. The star is no stranger to horror as a genre – she famously led the cast of Jordan Peele’s Us. She tells Glamour that scaring people is fun, but the energy required can be “physically and mentally exhausting.”

Her co-star, Stranger Things breakout actor Joseph Quinn, was a vital presence for her on set, she said. Quinn plays Eric, a stranger who teams up with Sam on their quest to stay alive. “He listens and he’s very surprising,” Nyong’o said of Quinn. “You don’t know what he’s going to do next, and that makes it really exciting because you can’t prepare too much.”

A Quiet Place became a surprise smash in 2018, turning John Krasinski into an A-list director. It earned $340.9 million globally, with the sequel, A Quiet Place Part II, grossing $297.3 million globally in 2021, a strong showing as the theatrical business was coming out of the pandemic.

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