Shahadi Wright Joseph, star of the upcoming horror feature Us, has revealed that Lupita Nyong’o had a creepy way of getting into character on set.
Chatting with BuzzFeed News on AM to DM on Thursday morning, Joseph said she didn’t get scared often while filming, but admitted she was terrified by Nyong’o, who plays her onscreen mother, Adelaide Wilson, and the evil version of that same character, who is named Red.
“She really kinda spooked me out a little bit,” Joseph said, who plays Zora Wilson/Umbrae in the film. “She would really get into character and wouldn’t talk. It was kind of creepy.”
Nyong’o was so dedicated to her craft that she would often stay in character when they weren’t shooting, Joseph said.
Red’s voice in the film was inspired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has “a neurological disorder that causes involuntary spasms of the larynx,” the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Nyongo’s performance has been highly praised, with some speculating that she could go on to win an Oscar, though it’s way too early to tell.
Joseph said overall working with Nyong’o was “a lot of fun,” because she’s multifaceted as a performer and “has so many great personalities to herself.”
Us isn’t the only highly anticipated film Joseph is starring in this year; she’ll also be playing the younger version of Nala in the upcoming Lion King remake, a role she’s reprising as she filled those shoes before in the Broadway production years ago.
“It was great to reprise the role and make her different,” Joseph said. “It was a lot of fun and I think that we had some fun times on set.”
Beyoncé is one of the big-name stars attached to the Lion King remake. She’ll be playing the adult version of Nala, but Joseph didn’t meet her while filming.
Joseph said she’s “looking forward” to meeting the singer when the stars begin their press tour later this summer.
Watch the full interview below:
A previous version of this post mistakenly identified Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as his late father Robert F. Kennedy.