Lupita Nyong’o has revealed the reason why she opted not to star in The Woman King. The 39-year-old actress admittedly felt the role wasn’t right for her.
“It was very amicable, the departure from it, but I felt it wasn’t the role for me to play,” the Wakanda Forever star explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
Nyong’o was set to star alongside Viola Davis in the Gina Prince-Bythewood-directed film as one of the Agoji warriors. The story inspired the fictional Dora Milaje female-led army in Black Panther, and shortly after she was cast, the Us lead made a documentary, Warrior Women With Lupita Nyong’o, about the Agoji. After making the short film, she “[grappled] uncomfortably with the tribe’s legacy of violence” and no longer felt attached to The Woman King. However, she didn’t divulge any intimate details about her withdrawal from the project.
Thuso Mbedu ultimately took over Nyong’o’s role.
Surprisingly, the Oscar-winner finds herself seeking smaller roles these days.
“I’m desperate for small projects,” Nyong’o shared. “They’re harder to get off the ground, they’re harder to stay on track. Bigger movies elbow them out of the way. The pandemic and the fiscal stress on the industry has made it even harder for those movies to get made […] I personally love a good Marvel movie, but it doesn’t take me away from really wanting the little character-driven film. I believe in the fight for those things to be kept alive because the one thing we always want, the ultimate privilege, is choice.”
For now, watch the almost EGOT winner appear in Wakanda Forever this November.