Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o was so committed to her her dual roles in Jordan Peele’s Us that she stayed in character over the course of the entire shoot — even in-between takes!
In a PEOPLE exclusive first look at a bonus feature on the Blu-ray and Digital release of the hit thriller, the actress, 36, never breaks from Red, the deadly doppelgänger to traumatized mother Adelaide Wilson (who she also plays), as she waits on a scene to start. At one point Nyong’o even asks for direction from Peele, while speaking in Red’s terrifying and raspy voice.
As Nyong’o previously revealed, she developed Red’s affected voice after studying a real-life speech condition.
“The voice for Red was inspired by a condition known as spasmodic dysphonia, and it’s a condition that comes about from trauma,” she told PEOPLE. “It’s sometimes emotional, sometimes physical, sometimes inexplicable, where your vocal chords involuntarily spasm and create this irregular flow of air. I built off of that and experienced someone with the condition, and I did more research and met up with people with the condition to talk about their personal experiences with it.”
Nyong’o also worked closely with a vocal therapist and dialect coach “to make sure I could do it safely,” she said. “Those were the risks I was taking, were the risks that Red had not spoken for a long time was the inspiration for wanting to explore something a little more stylistic.”
She later presented her voice for Red to Peele, who was pleasantly surprised by its eerie-ness.
“About a week before we started filming, I called Jordan into the room and auditioned the voice for him,” she recalled. “I was very relieved when he was feeling it and encouraged me to go further with it.”
Nyong’o continued: “Jordan is very collaborative, and he really invited me into the whole creative process of making these women who they were. He trusted me to be the expert, that was my job.”
: Lupita Nyong’o Says Her Mom Watched Us with Her Eyes Closed Because She Was So Scared
Another person on whom the Red voice had the desired scary effect is Nyongo’s mother Dorothy.
“My mom just came to the premiere of Us and Little Monsters the next day. She [had not seen] Us so she sat in the audience,” said Nyongo’o. “She hates scary movies, so she shut her eyes the whole time and blocked her ears.”
“I’m happy she was there, I can assure you that’s not her favorite film of mine,” she added with a laugh. “But, she is supportive until the day she dies. She will sit through despite the fact that she doesn’t have the spine for it. That kind of thing warms my heart because I know she’s my number one fan whether she can handle my madness or not.”
Us is available for purchase on DVD and Blu-ray June 18 and is now available on Digital platforms.
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