Filming Jordan Peele’s “Us” proved to be an immense challenge for Lupita Nyong’o.
The Oscar-winning actress dropped by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Wednesday, where she opened up about her dual roles in the psychological horror film, due out March 22.
“It’s a nightmare from Jordan Peele’s mind,” Nyong-o said of the movie, which is Peele’s follow-up to the writer-director’s 2017 smash, “Get Out.”
She stars opposite Winston Duke as Adelaide Wilson, a mother of two who is riddled with anxiety before she and her family venture to a California beach house. Once the vacation begins, Adelaide’s worst fears appear to be confirmed as she and her family are greeted by a group of strangers who look exactly like them.
“It was hard work ― oh, it was hard work! They’re very different,” she said of playing Adelaide as well as the character’s doppelgänger, Red. “I had to go to some dark places within myself ... [and] do a crazy voice that was a lot of fun to create.”
Playing two roles within the same film, Nyong-o said, required her to “spend a lot of time between takes sleeping, just trying to catch up with myself.”
Based on early reviews of “Us,” which debuted last week at South by Southwest, that focus paid off. The Hollywood Reporter called the movie “fiercely scary,” while The Guardian singled out Nyong-o’s performance as “magnificent.”
After “Us” and last year’s superhero smash “Black Panther,” Nyong-o is more in demand in Hollywood than ever. But the Kenyan-Mexican actress said she still finds time to have fun, as she did when she celebrated her 36th birthday on March 1 by hosting a laser tag party in New York.
“I learned a lot about my friends, you know,” she quipped to DeGeneres. “I learned who I want, in a time of war, on my side.”