Actress Lupita Nyong’o had no idea she was trying out for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens since director J.J. Abrams left her in the dark about the project during the audition.
The 12 Years A Slave star auditioned for the filmmaker the same week she won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014, and she admits the whirlwind of the awards season left her with barely any recollection of reading for Abrams.
"I accepted this audition because I guess I thought, 'I should probably find work,'" she told comedienne Ellen DeGeneres on her show on Tuesday. "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, I was working on adrenaline. I went in and out and I barely remember that audition."
Nyong'o was only told Abrams was working on a "big movie" and didn't even get to read from the Star Wars script during the audition, only reading substitute pages from a different screenplay instead.
It wasn't until two months later when Abrams offered her a part in the mysterious project, as Nyong'o recalled: "I was in Morocco on holiday and he called me at my hotel and said, I have this motion capture role I'm considering you for, would you be interested?' And I said, 'Yes please!'"
Nyong'o plays CGI space pirate Maz Kanata in the new Star Wars film, which opens on December 17.