Lupita Nyong’o Becomes a Defender of Nature in New ‘The Wild Robot’ Trailer

While the animated movie of the summer is here with Inside Out 2, get ready for this fall’s The Wild Robot. The DreamWorks film, based on the middle-grade novel, stars Lupita Nyong’o as Roz, a robot who awakens on a deserted island and forms bonds with woodland animals, particularly an orphaned gosling. Nyong’o recounted the toll the role took on her voice.

Lupita Nyong’o on Voicing Roz

CinemaBlend attended a DreamWorks Studios event in May where Nyong’o discussed her experience with writer/director Chris Sanders. Nyong’o elaborated on how she developed Roz’s voice:

The beginning of the film, I would say, was the greatest departure from my resting voice. And it’s where she’s the greenest, right? So she’s this sophisticated being but on this island. She’s like a newborn baby, right? She’s learning everything for the first time. And so, I was hoping to convey that sort of openness and I would say like that programmed optimism that these things like Siri and stuff, try to relay. You know, that high pitched, open, friendly, kind of non-threatening female sound was what I was going for. And it’s a workout. It’s a vocal workout, for sure. And I may have done it too long and too hard, and I paid for that.

Nyong’o was inspired by voice assistants on phones and other electronic devices when creating Roz’s voice. She spoke to Entertainment Weekly about how this work led to vocal strain:

It was a four-day stretch, and we had been doing four- or five-hour sessions every day. And because Roz starts in a more factory-setting sound, she has this overall positive inflection and tone. And then, as she gets more integrated in the animal kingdom that she’s a part of, her voice grows more. And so actually, the hardest part for me was her first voice, which is that very high-pitched, positive [sound] — it’s a different resonance from my own, so it was quite acrobatic for me to do that. It was a day where we’d started off in that voice, go into her second and third voice, and then go back to the first voice. The repetition of going to that high-pitched, highly resonant head space resulted in me having a vocal injury. I ended up developing a vocal polyp and spent three months in silence.

In her interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nyong’o explained that she spent three months in silence to avoid surgery, effectively healing her voice by resting.

Roz’s Arc and Challenges

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Nyong’o also emphasized the importance of collaborating with Chris Sanders on Roz’s character development. Despite Sanders’ impressive filmography, including Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon, Nyong’o initially hesitated to play a robot without emotions. Through extensive discussions, she found an approach to the character that satisfied her artistic sensibilities.

Wrapping Up

The Wild Robot is set to be a standout release from DreamWorks, premiering in theaters on September 27. You can explore more upcoming 2024 movies on CinemaBlend. For ongoing updates on the latest entertainment news, visit HitPlay.

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