Lupita Nyong’o Says She’s Ready to Be in a Rom-Com (Exclusive)


Lupita Nyong’o has a request for Hollywood casting directors.

On Friday, June 14, Paramount Pictures and Hollywood Confidential hosted an event celebrating the Oscar-winning actress, 41, for her years of work in the film and TV industries at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles.

Nyong’o’s film and TV résumé is expansive — she took home a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award in 2014 for her work in 12 Years a Slave, portrayed a spy and romantic interest to Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther and starred in horror movies including Jordan Peele’s thriller Us — but there’s one genre she really wants to tackle next, she told PEOPLE.

“Please tell everybody I’m looking for the rom-com,” she announced. “I am here. I’m taking calls. Listen, if I need to audition, I’ll do it. I’m dying to do a comedy. Dying to do a comedy.”

Lupita Nyong’o speaks onstage during a Hollywood Confidential event honoring her in support of ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’ on June 14, 2024.

Arnold Turner/Getty 

The Emmy winner has started taking matters into her own hands, posting silly videos of herself, her cat and more to show off her lighthearted side.

“I’m trying to tell these executives that I’m funny and that I can be lighthearted and light-footed,” Nyong’o added. “But I do have more dramatic roles in the can than light ones, so someone’s just got to take a chance with me. So consider this my open application.”

Continuing her horror streak for now, Nyong’o is starring in the Quiet Place prequel A Quiet Place: Day One. She had some kind words about just how imaginative the franchise’s creator, John Kraskinski, is.

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“I was very honored to get offered this role because I think it is a very innovative world that John Krasinski created,” she said of The Office alum, who starred in and directed the first Quiet Place movie in 2018. “And it is a fun world. It’s a very specific world. It’s a tense world.”

Nyong’o likened the world of A Quiet Place, with all of its alien invasions and chase sequences, to games she used to play as a kid.

“Like the floor is lava. You commit to that context and you go for it,” she explained to PEOPLE. “And you’re asking adults to do this. Imagine a world where you have to stay quiet to survive. It’s exciting to me to be in that kind of hyper-imaginative world.”

Additionally, the actress had high praise for her costar, Stranger Things alum Joseph Quinn.

“Doing [the movie] with someone like Joe was awesome,” she said, recalling watching Quinn take on the role of fan-favorite D&D player Eddie Munson. “I thought he was extremely memorable and moving as an actor, and I was very eager to meet him and wondering what he would be like in person. And what I discovered is that he’s a very hardworking actor and an extreme gentleman, and he’s a team player.”

Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn in ‘A Quiet Place: Day One’.

Gareth Gatrell/Paramount Pictures

“We very quickly got into a rhythm working together, and it was fun. It was always surprising. I just loved it. It was a wonderful, wonderful match when it comes to our chemistry,” she added of the actor.

A Quiet Place: Day One differs quite a bit from the original story of the first film. Rather than taking place on a farm, Day One follows Nyong’o’s character through the alien invasion as it happened in the hustle and bustle of New York City.

“I think that this movie is an homage to New York,” Nyong’o told PEOPLE, adding that it’s the kind of movie she hopes will make audiences want to watch it in theaters. “It is a reminder of how amazing and valuable it is to come together to watch a movie.”

“That cinematic experience — you can’t trade it,” she added. “Like, yes, okay, it’s fine, the ease of putting on a movie at home, but this movie is made for that immersive cinematic experience, and there’s nothing as cool and satisfying as having a cathartic experience in a group setting.”

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Created by TV and content producer Steve Jones — who’s worked with Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez — the Hollywood Confidential event series has served as a North Star to those dreaming of a career in Hollywood for the last 10 years. The series fosters illuminating one-on-one conversations with the most powerful voices of color in entertainment — all designed to empower, inspire and equip the next generation of actors, writers, producers and directors of color.

Prior to Nyong’o, past one-on-one guests who were honored for their cultural impact include Regina King, Angela Bassett, Tabitha Brown, Issa Rae, Snoop Dogg and Sterling K. Brown.

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