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Nyong'o hails 'refreshing' portrayal of black families in new film

Lupita Nyong’o, who stars in new movie Us, says it was “refreshing” to have a film that shows a black family in a way they are not usually represented on screen.

In director Jordan Peele’s horror thriller, the Oscar-winning actress plays a woman whose family is confronted by a group of doppelgangers.

She said it was “refreshing” to see a middle-class, black family on screen.

“And how normal it is, is the remarkable thing,” she said.

“I love it.”

“I loved how unremarkable it was that they were black, because I often feel quite unremarkable, I don’t live my life always considering the colour of my skin and it was nice to have that – a family that we could project our own understanding of a family on to no matter what colour our skin is, and that the paradigms to which they were navigating this particular monster had nothing to do with the colour of their skin.

“Yeah, that’s refreshing.”

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The Kenyan-Mexican actress said she was shocked to learn that having a black family as the central family in the horror genre was also uncommon.

“I was like, ‘wow, it’s about time’,” she said.

Us star Winston Duke, left, Nyong'o,  and director Jordan Peele
Image: Us star Winston Duke (L), Lupita Nyong'o, and director Jordan Peele

Nyong’o plays both the mother, Adelaide, and Adelaide’s doppelganger.

Winston Duke plays her husband Gabe.

The actress said although she felt “very intimidated” by the double role, it was “an opportunity of a lifetime”.

Discussing what the film had to say about society, she said: “It was this thing of recognising the monster in the man in the mirror, and there’s a duality in all of us, there’s a darkness that we often suppress and it is in suppressing that side of ourselves that it can become destructive, because we project it out of ourselves and onto other people and onto other things.”

“So, especially in this time when people are pointing a lot of fingers to the ‘other’, the other gender, the other country, the other political faction, the other religion, the other ethnicity, and we often fail to recognise the monster in ourselves, and this was a film that was anthropomorphising that monster.”

US director Jordan Peele has said: “There is an intrinsic fear of the ‘other’ that we have in our country, and many countries right now; the outsider, this idea of fear of the invader in whatever form they take.

“And this movie, the invader has our face and there’s an obvious metaphor reason for that.”

Us is released in UK cinemas on Friday.

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