Home Entertainment Day One’s Lupita Nyong’o Was Terrified Of Frodo The Cat

Day One’s Lupita Nyong’o Was Terrified Of Frodo The Cat


“Early on, a lot of people assumed, ‘Okay, it’s a big movie, we’ll CG the cat, and it will make everything a lot easier,” director Michael Sarnoski told IndieWire. But while the monsters in the movie might be CGI, he was determined to keep it real with Frodo: “It was important to me to have a real cat that you could feel connected to.” When Nyong’o tried to persuade Sarnoski to swap the cat for literally any other animal, he “so politely” told her, “It has to be a cat” (via AP News).

As is often the case with animal characters in movies, Frodo the cat was actually played by multiple actors. Two cats, Nico and Schnitzel, teamed up to portray the intrepid feline, and Nyong’o did give credit to her feline co-stars in an interview with the Radio Times. “Cats are very individualistic and very independent,” she explained. “And so, what they were able to teach these cats to do was astounding.” However, as she points out, cats are natural divas. They’re difficult to train and easily spooked, so whenever a cat was on set they automatically became number one on the call sheet. “It was like, ‘Quiet on set. Schnitzel is here!’ And then everybody gets quiet — because you have to make it comfortable for a cat.”

While cats seem to have a stubborn habit of looking everywhere except at the camera when you’re trying to take a cute photo of them, Nyong’o and her human co-star Joseph Quinn had the opposite problem. Often they would finish a take where both of them were happy with their performances, only to be told, “The cat was looking at the camera. You have to do that again.”

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