Starting tonight, Jordan Peele’s Us will be officially unleashed in theaters everywhere, and this writer is so excited to see what horror fans think of his latest genre entry (you can read my spoiler-free review HERE). Starring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, and Tim Heidecker, Us is centered around a quiet vacation with the Wilson family as they head out to Santa Cruz looking to relax and enjoy the summer, but find themselves confronted by a group of doppelgängers that look exactly like their clan. And from there, things only get worse.
In the film, both Wright Joseph and Alex portray the younger members of the Wilsons—Zora and Jason—as well as their evil counterparts Umbrae and Pluto, and for as much as the adult lookalikes are terrifying here, it’s the kids who help amp things up, making Us an incredibly unsettling experience for viewers.
“I was really comfortable with both of my characters,” said Alex. “Jordan [Peele] was really great with helping me understand them both. I thought Jason was actually a lot harder to play, just because I really had to work hard at him and make him into a real person. For my other character [Pluto], it was mostly me just crawling around on the floor, being creepy and growling with a mask on, and I thought that was really fun to do.”
For Wright Joseph, she found her experiences on Us a bit more challenging, but ultimately, very rewarding. “It was a little challenging taking on these two roles, but Jordan was so supportive of me on set, and really helped me pull it all together. Zora was really fun, but Umbrae was so different than anything I had ever done before, and some days it was more challenging, but I loved it.”
“I also really loved doing the scenes where I am playing against my double, which was challenging in a different way, especially when I had to switch between the two roles quickly when we were in these complicated scenes. I just thought there was something so very weird and scary about Umbrae, and I loved being able to bring her to life. Sometimes it was hard to go back and forth between the two different mind spaces that fast, but I really learned a lot about myself while making this movie, because I didn’t know if I could do all these things before we started shooting.”
“But Jordan was always checking in with me, to make sure I was good and knew where my characters were at, and I loved working with him. I learned a lot,” Wright Joseph added.
The younger cast members of Us also enjoyed their time collaborating with the actors who play their parents in the film, and they discussed how Peele’s arrangement of the production schedule really helped them come together as a family unit onscreen.
According to Shahadi, “Jordan saved shooting the family scenes you see at the beginning of the movie until the end, which I think really helped because we had all bonded already. The scene where we’re eating together, and just being together as a family, ended up being one of my favorite moments in the whole film.”
“I really enjoyed working with Lupita and Winston, too; they’re both so cool and we spent a lot of time talking when we were making the movie. I had so much fun working with them, and everyone. And I think my favorite scene was the one where the car is on fire in Santa Cruz, because it looks so cool,” added Alex.
Look for Us in theaters everywhere this weekend!