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Lupita Nyong’o gets a vocal cord polyp using super-positive voice as robot

The actress was on vocal rest for three months
Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Lupita Nyong’o has shown us that even a superstar can overdo the positivity — especially if it’s in a robot voice. The 41-year-old actress recently revealed that she developed a vocal cord polyp from using an exceptionally chipper tone for her role in the upcoming film The Wild Robot.

In an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Myers,” Lupita shared her vocal woes, explaining how she played the character Roz, a cyborg on a mission to discover “humanity”— or as we humans might call it, empathy.

“Roz goes through this journey to finding, I guess, what we would call humanity, like empathy,” Lupita recounted.

“And so at the start of the movie, I chose to do this very, kind of like, super-positive voice. And it was, like, just not in my vocal register, which is a lot lower. I did it for way too long over a number of days, and I got a vocal polyp.”

For those not up to date on their medical terms, vocal cord polyps are noncancerous growths that can show up on your vocal cords, typically due to overuse.

Lupita‘s case was so severe that she “lost the ability to speak.” Her doctor prescribed complete vocal rest, a regimen Lupita adhered to for a solid three months. She was initially scheduled for surgery, but ever the overachiever, she aimed to be in the 35 percent of patients who recover without going under the knife.

“And I did. I cured myself,” Lupita triumphantly declared, possibly in a lower, more soothing tone.

The actress joins a club of resilient celebrities who have bounced back from vocal injuries, including Miley Cyrus, Céline Dion, and Adele. Despite her voiceless state, Lupita didn’t let it cramp her social life. She attended both Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour and Beyoncé’s Renaissance show, proving that not even a vocal cord polyp can keep a true fan down.

“You had to wear a note that said, ‘I am on vocal rest,’” Seth Myers remarked noting her commitment to the concert scene.

“Yeah, I made that at home. Sometimes people thought I was being rude because I wouldn’t say anything. So then I just thought, ‘Okay. Let me let people know what’s going on, and that way, they’ll have sympathy for me instead of hatred,’” Lupita confirmed.

So, the next time you hear someone with an unusually cheery voice, remember: even positivity can come at a cost.

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