Rumors were spreading like crazy about problems on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, specifically with Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. As reported by the Inquisitr, it was said that director J.J. Abrams wasn’t on board with Nyong’o’s acting choices.
The report went on to say that because Abrams wasn’t pleased with Nyong’o’s take on the character, he shaved down her scenes, which made sense given how little her character is featured in the recent promotions for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
According to the Sun, Nyongo’s role “has been massively cut in the finished edit” and “there was a general sense that something wasn’t working so a lot of her scenes ended up being either reworked or cut.”
In the initial report, a source said that Lupita was uncomfortable with the CGI and struggled with it, and the whole process gave her less of a connection with her character. The source also noted that while this tends to happen in Hollywood, it doesn’t happen to someone of Nyong’o’s stature. It probably doesn’t happen as frequently in a huge production, seeing as every actor in the new Star Wars film had to go through rounds and months of auditions to make sure that they would be able to take on the role.
— Mirror TV (@MirrorTV) December 4, 2015
In the end, the source said, “It’s ultimately quite embarrassing for Lupita but she’s still thrilled to even be in such an iconic movie.”
That said, J.J. has denied these reports that he was unhappy with Lupita’s work or that the actress was uncomfortable with working within the limits of CGI. In a statement to Page Six, Abrams said of these reports,
“The number of rumors floating around about ‘The Force Awakens’ is truly stunning. Some are wonderfully funny, others simply preposterous. But the only one more ridiculous than Jar Jar Binks being a Sith Lord is that I cut Lupita Nyong’o’s performance because it wasn’t satisfactory.”
Not only did he deny cutting Nyongo’s scenes due to an unsatisfactory performance, but J.J. also took the time out to praise the actress for her performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“In truth, her performance wasn’t satisfactory. It was spectacular. She has brought the character of Maz Kanata to life in the most wonderful, wise, touching, deep and funny way. Lupita never ceased to amaze me. Yes, we tried many approaches, and we finally landed on just what the film needed. She elevated all the scenes she is in, I’m forever grateful, and can’t wait for people to see her stunning performance.”
— B. Scott (@lovebscott) December 1, 2015
Recently, Lupita spoke about her role in Star Wars with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah. The Daily Show wasn’t provided with a clip from the film, but the actress did speak about the technique she had to develop for CGI. She told Noah that you have to move, and the costume is the “dots” that are marked on the face for the CGI technology. Lupita said that LED lights shined on her face and she felt like she had her own personal spotlight wherever she went because of it.
She called Star Wars out of this world, and admitted watching the films while growing up, so to be a part of the film thirty years later was “incredible.”
What do you think about those Lupita Nyong’o rumors?
[Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images]