It's a great honor to play someone's mom in a biopic, but when that person is Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, you are the one who should be thankful. In this case, it's Trevor Noah, who agreed to have Nyong'o portray his mother in a film adaptation of his memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
Now, the two are talking about the decision for the first time since it was announced on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
"When we first spoke about this book, you were like, 'I love this book, I love this concept, I love everything about it,'" Noah said in his interview with Nyong'o. But it turns out that Noah wasn't telling the full story. Nyong'o was the one who asked Noah to play his fierce mom, who had an illegal relationship and child (Noah) with a white man during apartheid in South Africa.
"The truth is I was on the set of Black Panther, I pre-ordered the book, got it, read it and I sent you an email," explained Nyong'o, who is also producing the film. "And I said, 'Trevor, please will you do me the honor of letting me play your mother.'"
Noah joked that he wasn't sure about it until the Black Panther actress sent him pictures of her muscles. "That's my mom, that's my mom," he said.
On top of Born a Crime, Nyong'o will have a busy year ahead of her. She's slated to release a children's book, Sulwe, at the beginning of next year about a black girl learning to love her skin color and the way Black Panther's box office numbers are looking, she might have to start gearing up to reprise her role as Nakia in a sequel as well. Wakanda Forever.