Afro-Latina Actress Lupita Nyong’o Recounts a Time When She Asked Taylor Swift’s Permission to Use Her Song Because It Helped with Her Depression

Afro-Latina Actress Lupita Nyong'o Recounts a Time When She Asked Taylor Swift's Permission to Use Her Song Because It Helped with Her Depression
Credit: Gage Skidmore from Surprise/GabboT - Taylor Swift 008

Lupita Nyong’o, the Oscar-winning Afro-Latina actress, once penned a heartfelt request to Taylor Swift, making a direct appeal to use Swift’s hit song “Shake It Off” in the 2019 film Little Monsters. This intriguing revelation came to light during Nyong’o’s appearance on First We Feast’s Hot Ones series, where she shared a moving story about how the song helped her through a challenging time in her life. 

How Lupita Nyong’o Got Permission from Taylor Swift

The story began with the producers of Little Monsters informing Nyong’o that they were unable to secure the rights to “Shake It Off.” Determined to help, Nyong’o took matters into her own hands, writing to Swift to explain the profound impact the song had on her. Nyong’o recounted, “I decided, ‘Okay. I’m going to go, I’m going to make a pitch, I’m going to let Taylor know what this song means to me,’ and I told her that story about how it lifted me from an almost depression, and the next thing I knew, it was cleared.” 

The Black Panther star’s connection to the song dates back to her time working in London on Star Wars. According to Marie Claire, she was experiencing significant self-doubt and feeling a bit depressed because it was only her second major project.  

In her own words: “When I was working in London on Star Wars, I was going through a lot of self-doubt because it was the second thing I had done. I was getting a little depressed. My best friend came to London and Taylor had just released ‘Shake It Off.’ And he played it for me to like get me into better spirits, and we just jumped on my bed, and we just danced and danced, and it lifted my spirits.” Despite the pivotal role the song played in her life, Nyong’o hasn’t seen her since to thank her for it. 

Currently, Nyong’o is busy promoting her latest film, A Quiet Place: Day One, a prequel to John Krasinski’s acclaimed horror series, A Quiet Place.  

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