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Cynthia Erivo Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trivia (4)  | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (3)

Born in Stockwell, London, England, UK
Birth NameCynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo
Height 5' 0½" (1.54 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Cynthia Erivo was born on January 8, 1987 in Stockwell, London, England as Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo. She is an actress and producer, known for Bad Times at the El Royale (2018), Harriet (2019) and Widows (2018).

Family (1)

Parents Erivo, Edith

Trivia (4)

English actress, singer & songwriter.
Born Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo in London to Nigerian parents.
Is 1 of 11 black actresses to be nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award.
Won the Best Actress in a Musical Tony Award for The Color Purple (2016).

Personal Quotes (10)

Each one of my characters has some part of me. With Belle in Widows (2018), her physical prowess and the way she moves is very close to me. Darlene in Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) could be the most like me in spirit. She has this very strong will to survive; she never really gives up, and if she does, it's not without fighting. Music is a part of her, which is something that's very important to me
I try and be present in all the moments that are new to me. Someone asked me how I do it when there's like events and parties and I said I tried to make connections with people. I find it easier when I can try and make individual connections with people. So it might be really loud, but if I can actually look someone in the eye and say, "Hey, how are you? What's going on?" I can see you. It makes it easier for me because it breaks it down.
I want to be perceived as the woman who takes the hard route. I want to find the stories that people don't get to see very often, and I want to mine the characters for the complexity that women have. Some people are afraid of being an example to other young women. I love that-the idea of being an example to young women and women of color, showing them that there are so many different characters we can play and not to be afraid of that. Not to be afraid of searching for them, and finding them, and standing your ground knowing that these are characters you can play.
[on the challenges of shooting Harriet (2019)] Well, you know, it's a hugely physical movie and most of it is outside so you're dealing with both the elements, the weather. We're in the mud, it's rainy, it's cold. We're shooting from September through to December. So it was freezing and we're outdoors and I'm doing a lot of physical work, I did every stunt but maybe one. And you know when you're, when the windchill is like minus something and having to climb up the side of a cliff, you got to figure it out. And if you're walking in water and it's thirty-seven degrees at midnight, the water feels much colder. But you have to figure that out. You're working against the clock and against the elements and every time we get rained out, we have to figure that out again. You also have the emotional journey that she goes on. It is tough and you have to be strong enough to do that.
[on Harriet (2019)] Not pressure, but I felt a responsibility. More responsibility than pressure to tell the story. I felt like I was now responsible for making sure that this story was told in the right way, so I'm happy that they allowed me to be involved.
If I spend a really long time with a certain role, I can feel myself becoming consumed by them. I was definitely consumed by Celie, and I was definitely consumed by Harriet. That's part of why I work out so much - it's like a cleanser almost, an hour I can just keep for myself. I need to be conscious of how I treat myself. I put my body through so much when I played Harriet, I felt my body was not 100 percent whole at the end of it. It took some time to heal my body and my mind, because she experienced so much trauma, and I had to let my body know it wasn't really happening to me.
We're in a dangerous place right now when people who have nothing to do with us are making decisions about our lives and our bodies. We're watching changes that were made for our freedom getting rolled back.
Sometimes showing your faith brings embarrassment because of where we are in the world now.
I vividly remember my first time on stage. I was five years old and I played a shepherd [in the school Nativity]. They made me sing 'Silent Night' solo. I saw my mum smiling, maybe crying, and I remember knowing that people were really happy. That was the first time that I thought, 'ooh, this might be what I'm supposed to do'.
I grew up in Stockwell, south London. We had a humble upbringing and my mum raised my sister and I on her own.

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