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Lupita N’yongo had to get over her fear of cats for A Quiet Place: Day One

Before starring in A Quiet Place: Day One, Lupita N’yongo had to overcome her lifelong fear of cats and even underwent “cat therapy.”

Many of us have a fear that might be considered irrational to someone else, and for Lupita N’yongo, that fear was cats. When it came to starring in A Quiet Place: Day One, this proved to be a big problem as one of her co-stars was… well, a cat.

A Quiet Place: Day One centers on Sam (N’yongo), a young woman who finds herself stranded in New York City when the alien invasion begins. She’s accompanied by her cat Frodo and soon teams up with Eric (Joseph Quinn) to try to survive the invasion. Although N’yongo was keen to take part, the involvement of the cat almost made her consider turning the film down. “When I read the script, I loved the character, and I loved the story that Michael was telling with this film. It’s a very surprising tone that he’s added to this universe,” N’yongo told Digital Spy. “The cat, that was the sticking point for me.

The actress said she tried to get director Michael Sarnoski to change the cat to a different animal, but he refused. So in order to get over her fear of cats, Lupita N’yongo went through cat therapy. “It started with two, and the first day, they just let the cats roam around me, and I asked the woman who brought the cats questions about why they were doing certain things,” N’yongo explained. “The next day, I touched one with one finger and slowly, slowly I got comfortable enough to hold a cat through this film.

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The “cat therapy” worked, and N’yongo got along just fine with her feline co-star, who was actually played by two cats: Schnitzel and Nico. In fact, she became a cat mom in real life, adopting a cat named Yoyo. “I have historically been afraid of cats, but when my life was altered instantly recently, a little voice whispered to me that it was time to embrace change and new possibilities,” N’yongo wrote on Instagram last year.

A Quiet Place: Day One is now playing in theaters, so be sure to check out a review from our own Chris Bumbray right here.

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