Lupita Nyong’o Underwent ‘Cat Therapy’ to Handle Animal in ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’

We’ve all heard of the concept of “Save the Cat,” but before Lupita Nyong’o could do that, she first had to be able to face one. In her upcoming film, “A Quiet Place: Day One” — a prequel within the “Quiet Place” franchise — one of Nyong’o’s main companions throughout surviving the terrifying experience of alien invasion is a little furry friend. In a recent interview with Glamour, Nyong’o confessed her initial apprehension towards felines, but how undergoing “cat therapy” and making the film changed her attitude and her affection for the animal.

“I asked the director Michael Sarnoski if there was any way that we could change the animal. I suggested an armadillo; he was not having it,” Nyong’o said, later adding, “I had to learn a lot about myself, about the animal, before I was comfortable to do it.”

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Nyong’o also found comfort in her human scene partner, costar and future “Fantastic Four” member, Joseph Quinn. Though strangers in the film, they come to rely on one another as they traverse the new hostile landscape. Nyong’o said of Quinn as an actor, “He listens and he’s very surprising. You don’t know what he’s going to do next, and that makes it really exciting because you can’t prepare too much.”

Having good partners in life is important to Nyong’o as her upbringing taught her a lot about the realities of sharing yourself with others. Reflecting on her youth, she said to Glamour, “I got teased a lot for being dark-skinned. I went to an all-girls school for elementary school, and then I switched to coed school when I was 12. So just when I was coming into myself and becoming aware of my sexuality, I was being teased a lot by boys for being dark. So I definitely wasn’t confident, but how I dealt with that was, I think I just developed my character to compensate.”

Nyong’o also recently learned to compensate by leaning into her fears. After finally finding the appeal in the feline species and needing a friend after a tough breakup, the actress adopted a cat of her own named Yoyo. She said, “I guess the best anecdote for when you feel poorly taken care of is to take care of something. And I took care of Yoyo and he pried my heart open.”

Adding to her sentiments, she said later, “People have told me I’m very feline in the past. And now that I have a cat, I understand.”

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