ABC/Lou RoccoLupita Nyong’o has addressed the recent criticism she faced after saying she was “inspired” by the neurological disorder spasmodic dysphonia when she was developing the voice of her character Red in the new film Us.
“The voice of Red is a composite of influences and definitely a creation of my imagination,” Nyong’o said on Thursday’s The View. “But I was inspired by a disorder called spasmodic dysphonia.”
“I crafted Red with love and care,” she continued. “So as much as it is in a genre-specific world, I really wanted to ground her in something that felt real. And so for all that, I say sorry to anyone that I may have offended.”
Nyong’o recently said during a red carpet interview with Variety that she “studied” the condition and discovered that it “comes about from trauma, sometimes emotional, sometimes physical” and it creates a “spasming in your vocal chords” leading to “an irregular flow of air.”
“In mentioning spasmodic dysphonia, I may have been disproportionate to what it actually is in the film,” Nyong’o said on The View. “I met with people…with the condition and I learned how difficult it is to have the disorder.”
She also went into more detail about drawing inspiration from Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who suffers from the disorder. She explained, “His voice, and the condition that he has, became the catalyst in my creative process.”
The executive director of the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association, Kimberly Kuman, spoke with Good Morning America about Nyong’o’s comments.
“I think the biggest challenge is that it’s being associated with the terms ‘creepy’ and ‘haunting,'” Kuman said. “The reality is once the movie is over, they’re still living with this voice disorder.”
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