Why Lupita Nyong’o 'Safeguards' Her Relationships from Public Eye: I 'Grow from Them on My Own Terms' (Exclusive)

Why Lupita Nyong’o 'Safeguards' Her Relationships from Public Eye: I 'Grow from Them on My Own Terms' (Exclusive)

"I want to keep things to myself," says the 'A Quiet Place: Day One' actress

Lupita Nyong'o is careful about what she shares with the public.

The Oscar winner, who stars in the new blockbuster A Quiet Place: Day One, tells PEOPLE she doesn't plan to open up about her relationships again anytime soon.

"There's so much of my life that is public, to also make my personal life a part of the public conversation, it's a liability," says Nyong'o, 41. "What I learned is when things go south, then recovering from that moment takes longer because everybody knows."

"So in the name of just being allowed to have relationships that mean a lot to me, and grow from them on my own terms... I want to keep things to myself," she explains.

About being open and public with a romance, Nyong'o says she has "tried it and I didn't like it, so I'm going back in." She went Instagram official with TV commentator Selema Masekela back in December 2022. Then, in October 2023, Nyong'o announced their breakup via a message on Instagram.

<p>Karwai Tang/WireImage</p> Lupita Nyong'o on May 1, 2024

Karwai Tang/WireImage

Lupita Nyong'o on May 1, 2024

It can be difficult, she says, not to speak out when her personal life becomes the subject of pop culture discussion.

Most recently, Nyong'o has been photographed spending time with actor Joshua Jackson after news of his divorce. Jackson's ex, Jodie Turner-Smith, has even addressed his apparent romance with Nyong'o in an interview.

Says Nyong'o, "There's a lack of control. I don't have control in things ... I'll say this: What's wonderful about social media is I get a say in what people know about me."

"But," she continues, "there are parts of my life that I have no control over what people know. And it is unnerving. It's saddening at times — I'd say even disappointing and frustrating. But then I can't do anything about that. So what I can do is safeguard what I share as much as possible, and then leave the rest to God."

<p>Paramount Pictures</p> Lupita Nyong'o in "A Quiet Place: Day One"

Paramount Pictures

Lupita Nyong'o in "A Quiet Place: Day One"

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Nyong'o, who recently relocated from living in New York City to now Los Angeles, adopted a rescue cat named Yoyo last year after her breakup with Masekela.

"I was going through a hard time, I just had a little voice saying, 'Get a cat,' and I got a cat," she recalls. "I have not regretted it. I'm way less lonely with my cat, and he pried my heart open."

And she's enjoying the "slower pace" of West Coast living versus "hectic" New York.

"You can determine your own pace in my neighborhood in L.A. In New York, even if you've got nothing to do, you feel like you're late. I was very tired of feeling like that. I'm calmer now than I was then. I feel it's easier for me to get to calm."

A Quiet Place: Day One is in theaters now.

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