“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is set to break records when it hits theaters on Friday, but one of the lead actresses didn’t even know what movie she was auditioning for when she went for the job.
“It was crazy. I accepted this audition … and I didn’t really know what I was auditioning for. I knew I was going in for J.J. [Abrams], but I was so busy,” Lupita Nyong’o told Ellen DeGeneres in a preview clip for Tuesday’s show.
“I was so busy I was working with adrenaline so I went in and out,” said the actress, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her first feature film, “12 Years a Slave.” “I barely remember that audition and then two months later he called me.”
Nyong’o said she didn’t know the role was in “Star Wars” and had just been told that the director was “working on a big movie.”
The plot of Episode VII of the iconic sci-fi franchise was so secretive that she read from a substitute script.
“I remember crouching around and I was using my hands as a gun, I remember that,” the actress recalled.
She only found out exactly what role she’d won when director Abrams called her two months later. “I was in Morocco on holiday and he called me at my hotel and said, ‘I have this motion-capture role that I’m considering you for.'”
In “The Force Awakens,” Nyong’o plays the mysterious Pirate Queen Maz Kanata created by motion capture with dots all over her face.
“I had dots on my lips and on my teeth and then at lunch time I would just eat the dots and then they would put them back,” she told DeGeneres.