Lupita Nyong'o Says Quiet Place Cancer Storyline Was 'Therapeutic' After Losing Chadwick Boseman (Exclusive)

Warning This article contains spoilers about A Quiet Place Day One, in theaters now

Published Time: 01.07.2024 - 18:31:04 Modified Time: 01.07.2024 - 18:31:04

Warning: This article contains spoilers about A Quiet Place: Day One, in theaters now.

Lupita Nyong'o had an emotional experience playing a woman with cancer in A Quiet Place: Day One.

In the new sci-fi thriller, the Oscar winner, 41, portrays Sam, a poet fighting for her life in more ways than one: against terminal cancer and an invasion of aliens that hunt based on sound.

She begins the film in hospice care with other patients and her cat named Frodo, eventually finding herself trapped in Manhattan and having to stay silent to avoid the lethal creatures.

Nyong'o tells PEOPLE it was "scary to have to go there" in a role where her character "is really facing their mortality, even before this apocalypse takes place, and whose life is slipping between her fingers."

"That was daunting to have to go there, psychologically and emotionally," she says.

The added layer of having lost close friend and Black Panther costar Chadwick Boseman to cancer made it even more emotional for Nyong'o. Boseman was 43 when he died of colon cancer in August 2020, a health battle he had kept private.

"In the end, it was actually very therapeutic because I had just experienced not too many years ago the de -

ath of Chadwick Boseman, which shook me to my core," says Nyong'o, who has a photo of herself with Boseman as her Instagram profile image. "I definitely was thinking about that a lot."

"What I came to realize is that it's really important to be reminded of our mortality, because then we live life just a little more intentionally," she adds.

"When we think we have all the time in the world, we can really take people for granted and experiences for granted."

About the Quiet Place: Day One ending — which sees Sam enjoying her favorite things one last time before playing music loudly for the monsters to find her — Nyong'o "loved that she was given agency up until the end, that she went out on her own terms."

"I think that it was a very risky story that writer-director Michael Sarnoski chose to tell," she says. "And it just shows again, even when life is slipping there is still more life to live, until there's not."

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A Quiet Place: Day One is in theaters now.

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