Stars: they’re just like us! While Lupita Nyong’o was preparing for The Public Theater’s radio play presentation of Romeo y Julieta, the Broadway alum got tired of Zoom very quickly. “It was such a headache,” she admitted on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. One thing she was happy to learn, however, was how to kiss virtually. Check out the Oscar winner and Tony nominee demonstrating the unusual (but effective) technique above.
Playing Julieta in 2021 is a bit of a full circle moment, as Nyong’o shared the story of her first professional acting gig as a teen: Juliet in the Phoenix Player’s production of Romeo & Juliet in Kenya. “I cried [when I got the part] because I grew up listening to my Dad recite Shakespeare to me, so it was a language of love,” she said.
As for the Bard's play itself, Nyong’o doesn’t understand how these kids can be so irresponsible. “They meet each other, before you know it they’re married the next day and they die the next. Like, that’s a lot to give up for a dude you just met.” But that wasn’t always the case—back when she first played the part at the age of 14, she understood the feverish passion these two star-crossed lovers have. In fact, she was just as much in love with Leonardo DiCaprio on the big screen in the 1996 film adaptation as Juliet was in love with Romeo.
Romeo y Julieta, directed by Saheem Ali and also starring Juan Castano, is available to stream for free through March 18, 2022, at PublicTheater.org.