Lupita Nyong’o to star in Apple+ show ‘Lady in the Lake’ Alongside Natalie Portman

Apple+ adds All-Star lineup to its limited series adaptation of Laura Lippman’s book Lady In The Lake

Lupita Nyong’o and Natalie Portman signed onto the Apple+ limited series Lady In The Lake, which will be directed by Honey Boy director Alma Har’el.

The show is set in 1960s Baltimore and centered around an unsolved murder that prompts housewife and mother, Maddie Schwartz, played by Portman, to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist. Portman’s character’s story is set to intertwine Nyong’o who will play Cleo Sherwood, a hard-working woman juggling motherhood, many jobs and a commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda.

According to the book’s author, Laura Lippman the setting of the story required race to be a focal point. 

“I couldn’t write about Baltimore and not write about race, that would be insane. That would be not about Baltimore,” Lippman said in an interview with NPR in July 2019. 

Lippman adds that two Baltimore cases inspired the book — the disappearances of an 11-year-old girl named Esther Lebowitz and Shirley Parker whose body was found in a fountain at a zoo’s lake. 

Both Nyong’o and Portman will join the executive production team to bring the book alive.

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Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for Turner)

Lady in the Lake will be the first television role for Nyong’o since appearing in the African series “Shuga” in 2012. Nyong’o has since been in critically acclaimed and iconic films like Marvel’s Black PantherDisney’s Queen of Katwe and Jordan Peele’s Us

While Nyong’o has demonstrated her acting capabilities in serious dramas and terrifying horror films, this limited series will offer us a look at her ability to master suspense and mystery.

Some of the Academy Award winner’s other works demonstrate her range in the industry. She has contributed her voice acting skills to two televised series based on George LucasStar Wars. But now she’s set to make her mark in American television in a role that speaks to the current sentiment of advancing the Black community. 

The Us star has gone on the record to share her feelings on the Black Lives Matter Movement and its impact on her career. 

Read More: Lupita Nyong’o sounds off on colorism: ‘Lighter skin preference is alive and well’

“Because I’m a member of that community. I’m a member of that society and what is happening, it’s personal.” She said. “I’m taking it personally. There’s no other way to take it.”

The saying goes art reflects life, and the projects Nyong’o tends to select tap into relatable societal issues experienced by Black people. 

“This is a time of deep learning for me, too, as an immigrant in this country, of trying to figure out how is this the world we’re living in? There’s just so much to unpack, there’s so much to learn, and there’s so much to need to be awake to. Because it’s when people fall asleep that these things happen—when we grow complacent.” Nyong’o told Variety during a June 2020 interview. 

She added that “the killing of George Floyd in front of our eyes,” has made the public more aware.

In addition to her acting and advocacy, Nyong’o is a trailblazer and groundbreaker in the fashion industry. In 2014, Lancôme named her their first Black spokesperson.

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