"The Monsters Within Us" Featurette
Whether you are watching Us for the first time or the hundredth, you likely have an inkling of the symbolism and messaging present within the movie. Director Jordan Peele does a fantastic job of blending both subtle and obvious motifs so that viewers can examine something new each time that they watch.
In our Us behind-the-scenes content, Jordan Peele and the cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Evan Alex, and Shahadi Wright Joseph, discuss the duality in their characters, and how the monsters and humans developed simultaneously.
In “The Monsters Within Us,” Peele and the cast talk about the development of the monster characters. Because the same actor plays both a human and that human’s monster counterpart, it is obvious that the two are meant to be cut from the same cloth. A central reason for this is to represent the fact that we all have both good and evil inside of us.
Lupita Nyong’o talks about this in her interview, discussing how it was both challenging and rewarding to work with duality during her process. As her two characters are facets of the same person, she wanted to create through lines that connected the two and made them seem similar in some ways. However, since they are meant to be very different people, Nyong’o still had to differentiate the two. In our Us featurette, she said about Peele, “one of the first things he said to me was, ‘Lupita, you are going to be very tired’ and he delivered on that promise.” She not only had to create one character, but two.
Nyong’o wasn’t the only one who had to create two characters. Winston, Shahadi, and Evan got to explore the duality of their characters as well. Winston’s personality is very similar to his rambunctious character Gabe, and he enjoyed getting to connect Gabe with his evil counterpart Abraham. Peele talks about how Shahadi’s character Umbrae is possibly the scariest one in the bunch for him personally. Then finally there’s the younger brother Evan, who describes his character Jason as an observer who had an affinity for magic, while on the other hand, his counterpart Pluto is a wild animal.
In this featurette, Nyong’o also discusses how and why this movie makes people uncomfortable. Aside from the blood, gore, and generally creepy aesthetic, the characters themselves have been developed to disturb us at a deeper level, and you even root for the villain by the end of the movie. Since we all have this duality of nature inside of us, it becomes harder and harder to only root for one side of the conflict. We as viewers see ourselves in both the good and the evil of this story, and that can be alarming and disturbing.
To access this discussion, and other exclusive Us behind-the-scenes content, purchase the movie on 4k Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD, or Digital.*
*Bonus features are only available at select digital retailers. Check the retailer for details.
Like this article? Read more about the making of Us here:
- "The Duality of Us" Featurette
- "Becoming Red" Featurette
- "Tethered Together: Making Us Twice" Featurette
- "Redefining a Genre: Jordan Peele's Brand of Horror" Featurette