Lupita Nyong'o has earned rave reviews for her leading role in Broadway's Eclipsed and was ravishing as she represented her show at the Tony Awards last night, but according to sources, things haven't been quite so happy backstage.
Page Six reports that the Oscar winner has been making the show's producers and investors angry with her diva-like demands.
Sources tell the site that Lupita has missed some shows and even decided to take Wednesdays off — apparently without telling anyone. “Wednesdays are her days off, but there was never an announcement, so fans are pissed when they come to the show and she’s not there,” said the insider, who adds that Nyong’o gives “exhaustion or ‘I have a sore toe’ ” as excuses for skipping work.
Well, turns out Lupita got caught playing hooky on one of her sick days when she was spotted hanging with Misty Copeland, and it's truly pissed off the show's investors. “They were banking on her fame and have not seen a return," the source says. "The most disrespectful thing is taking off every Wednesday while being seen hanging out with Misty. If you’re too tired to work, stay in bed.”
Another source tells us Nyong’o “hasn’t hustled...Tony voters are coming to see her. Fans fly in to see her. This isn’t Hollywood, and she’s bringing her movie-star privilege to Broadway.”
A source close to Nyong’o counters that she’s only contractually obligated to be in seven shows a week. “She’s maybe missed a show or two because she was sick and lost her voice, but she was never expected to appear in Wednesday evening shows," the source says. "And she’s done more to promote this play than other nominees. This is her passion project that she is dedicated to and proud of.”
Insiders say Danai Gurira's play, about five African women surviving the Second Liberian Civil War, did well with Tony nominations (earning six nods, including a Best Lead Actress nod for Nyong’o) but isn't living up to its box office potential: it has earned around $300,000 a week out of a potential $800,000.
“They produced a show with a very difficult subject matter, so the box office may not be what they want it to be, but you can’t put that on Lupita. The amount of publicity she’s done, I don’t think she could’ve done more,” said another insider.
Rick Miramontez, spokesman for Eclipsed, described Nyong’o as “a luminous star who has endeared herself to everyone backstage, onstage and front-of-house. The only feelings she has stirred up within the production are everyone’s strong desire for her to win a Tony Award.”
Sadly, it didn't work out that way for Lupita, but hopefully these rumors (or the alleged behavior that started them) won't put an end to her Broadway career.
Catch a glimpse of Lupita spreading her #BlackGirlMagic in the play with BET Breaks above.
(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for FIJI Water)