Jordan Peele's Us is already being praised for the performances of its stars: Winston Duke and Lupita Nyong'o. However, Nyong'o has revealed that her role as Adelaide Wilson and her twisted doppelgänger -- referred to as Red -- took a physical and emotional toll on her.
In an interview on the Radio 1Xtra Breakfast Show, Nyong'o said, "This movie stretched me, it bent me, it cost me a whole lot... I went a little more method than I usually do where I stayed in the vocal posture for the whole day and I would remain isolated in a room festering." This helped her connect with dark emotions and her "inner monster" until she reached her breaking point.
"It was technically very challenging. We're playing against ourselves," she said. "The way in which things had to play out was so specific... It took its emotional toll on me. I definitely had a moment of rupture while making this movie."
Nyong'o also talked about how she voiced Red who, unlike the other doubles in the film, was able to converse with her twin on multiple occasions. In order to voice Red, she mimicked a voice condition called spasmodic dysphonia, which can be caused by physical and/or emotional trauma. "It's where your vocal cords start to spasm and they create this irregular abrupt pattern of air," Nyong'o explained.
She then revealed that, in preparation for the the role, she met with sufferers of the condition and worked with a voice therapist to ensure her own vocal chords weren't damaged.
Judging from the high praise the actor has received from critics, it seems Nyong'o's efforts paid off. The physical and mental differences between Adelaide Wilson, mother of two, and Red, the vengeful doppelgänger, are clear and help to the make Jordan Peele's most recent film truly horrifying.
In theaters now, Us is written, directed and produced by Jordan Peele. The film stars Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Kara Hayward, Tim Heidecker and Shahadi Wright Joseph.