Cynthia Erivo made a striking arrival for the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday evening in a striking white dress just a week after she boycotted the BAFTAs.
The nominated best actress, 33, looked sensational in her dramatic dress with a sparkling sequined body as she walked the star-studded red carpet at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
The presence of Cynthia turned out to be a surprise to some after she refused to attend the BAFTAs last week, following the huge controversy surrounding the lack of diversity in the nominations for the awards.
Amazing: Cynthia Erivo made a striking arrival for the 2020 Academy Awards on Sunday evening in a striking white dress just a week after she boycotted the BAFTAs
Cynthia was a vision of elegance when she walked the red carpet in a beautiful white dress with a wavy skirt and a thigh-high slit.
The body of the dress was covered with a series of beautiful silver sequins and mesh details, and she completed her look with matching platform heels.
Cynthia – who has been nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Harriet – has decorated her beautiful look with a series of silver rings while making a glamorous arrival for the occasion.
Her presence at the award ceremony was a surprise to some after she chose not to go to the BAFTAs last week.
Unbelievable: the best actress nominated, 33, looked sensational in her dramatic dress with a sparkling sequined body as she walked the star-studded red carpet in Los Angeles
Beautiful: the body of the dress was covered with a series of beautiful silver sequins and mesh details, and she completed her look with matching platform heels
Speaking to The Daily Mail’s Baz Bamigboye, the star admitted that she was enjoying a “well-deserved break” from the hardships of work and the award season so far instead of attending the ceremony.
In Harriet, Cynthia plays Harriet Tubman, the 19th-century abolitionist and American icon.
Cynthia said she preferred not to approve an event in which no non-white faces were nominated in the acting category, nor female directors in the Best Director category.
Bafta president Prince William and Joker star Joaquin Phoenix, who won the best actor, were among those who made potshots in their speeches about the miserable lack of race and gender diversity in the BAFTA nominations.
Praised: Cynthia has been nominated for an Oscar as best actress for the film Harriet, in which she plays Harriet Tubman (photo)
“It was so unreal because the Bafta people then asked me to sing and I refused to do it,” Cynthia said.
“They made sure all those other black actors acted as presenters. Well, I am not an accessory to make Bafta look good. It didn’t make sense to do that like nobody [of colour] was represented [in the nominations]. “
The jury at the Golden Globes certainly appreciated her turn as Harriet – she rewarded her with a different nomination for the best actress, but she didn’t win.
She didn’t win, but when I saw her in Los Angeles immediately after the January ceremony and felt sorry for her, it was clear that she didn’t see it that way at all.
“Just being here is a victory,” she told The Daily Mail. ‘To ask Renee Zellweger what my Christmas was like is a victory. Joking with Brad Pitt is a win.
‘We all look out for each other and that is a victory. I portray the title character of a movie [Harriet] that has exceeded expectations at the cash register in America, and that is a victory. “
No! Cynthia said she preferred not to approve an event in which no non-white faces were nominated in the acting categories
Cynthia is not only for Best Actress, but she is also nominated for Best Original Song for Stand Up, which she wrote together (with Joshua Brian Campbell) and acted for Harriet.
If she is lucky enough to take home a golden statue, Cynthia will join the illustrious ranks of artists who have an EGOT. That’s an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony.
And at the age of 33, she would be the youngest to have achieved it.
“I’m not counting on it, but yes, I have to pinch myself,” she laughs. ‘Who knows?’
Proud: Cynthia’s mother Edith (photo) came from Nigeria to Great Britain at the age of 24, with the intention of obtaining a catering diploma, but knowing that her heart was in nursing
Apparently her mother Edith did that. ‘My mother knew that I would be in the arts long before I knew I was going to do that. I was a shepherd in a nativity scene when I was five and I sang Silent Night.
“This was a sign for my mother. She didn’t push me like a stage mother, but she gently led me to drama classes. She couldn’t sing, but she loved it when I did. My mother and sister knew my way before I knew it. “
That close-knit family group has been the key to her success – and it was an extraordinary maisonette trip on a South London estate that the three of them shared up to this point in her career.
Between cruising the world to attend film festivals and award ceremonies in recent months, Cynthia commuted back and forth to Atlanta, Georgia, where she portrayed Aretha Franklin in an eight-part drama about the deceased Queen of Soul on the National Geographic channel.
(It’s a perfect casting because Cynthia’s voice is remarkable, although she jokes that “because I’m so small, I have to do something to make myself heard.”)
Superstar: Her major breakthrough came in 2013 when she took on the role of Celie in a musical production of The Color Purple. She won a Tony Award for the role
And then there’s an adaptation of Stephen King’s supernatural thriller The Outsider for HBO in which she plays private investigator Holly Gibney.
Oh, and on the day the Oscar nominations were announced last month, she was on a flight from LA to Tokyo where she gave three concerts for 15,000 people.
“All things that happen now are just crazy,” Cynthia said. And yet, and yet – she remarked somewhat wretchedly that she had not received any offer from the UK. I am not surprised at a distance. I am simply no longer surprised and no longer fighting for it. If something happens, it happens. I don’t chase it, “she said, resigned in her voice.
That is a tragedy because she is an artist who is very much made in Great Britain.
Cynthia’s mother Edith came from Great Britain to Great Britain at the age of 24.
So she ‘doubled’ and studied nursing at night while raising her two young daughters. She is now director of community health visitors.
“When my mother needs something to happen, she just does it and I learned from her. She wanted to learn how to drive, so she taught herself how to drive. I remember my sister Stephanie and I would sit in the car while she was learning. I don’t remember being terrified! “
Rising Star: Cynthia’s father, a civil servant, was “not in the picture,” she said, and has only seen him once since she was 16. For her and her sister there were too many ‘disappointments’ in childhood
She remembered that she lived in a converted church – “we loved it” – with five other families and then, “one day my mother said she wanted to buy a house, so she saved and saved for a mortgage and got a house for us’.
Her father, a civil servant, was “not in the picture,” she says, and she has only seen him once since she was 16. For her and her sister there were too many ‘disappointments’ in childhood.
“I haven’t seen him for a long time. My mother did the work of two parents. We didn’t need him. “
Her mother taught her the importance of self-confidence and Cynthia understood from an early age that getting what you wanted also required effort and dedication.
“I knew what hard work looked like by looking at her,” she says. We have known each other for more than ten years. When she was still studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (Rada), I kept hearing about this ‘black girl’ who had gone to a strict Catholic school in South London, La Retraite, who had amazed fellow students and teachers with her singing – and acting talent.
But besides acting workshops, school and local productions, she had never dreamed of a career in showbiz and went to work at the University of East London to study music psychology.
One day she bumped into a former acting mentor who was surprised that she wasn’t studying drama. Why wasn’t she with Rada, she was asked.
“At first I was reluctant because I didn’t know what this Rada was. I think the “Royal” bit frightened me, “Cynthia told me later.
She was one of only four people of color in her year. I started to follow Cynthia’s progress and watch her during occasional concerts that she did between bit parties in shows.
Important: in the Harriet film, her character Harriet Tubman uses guerrilla tactics to free her fellow slaves
Her major breakthrough came in 2013 when she took on the role of Celie in a musical production of The Color Purple (based on Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel) in the small but influential Menier Chocolate Factory Theater at London Bridge.
She was a sensation – described by a critic as a “pocket dynamo” – but, unbelievably, the show did not move to the West End.
Her next role was in the musical I Can’t Sing! in London’s Palladium that filled up – but it turned out to be a blessing.
The Color Purple was on its way to Broadway and she was now free to go with it. When she was leaving for New York in 2015, her sister Stephanie told her she would not be back. “She somehow saw that I would succeed,” says Cynthia. “I didn’t know that, but she did.”
I saw the production three times at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater and Cynthia was an absolute knockout. Her large number, I’m Here, really stopped the show. People jumped from their seats and applauded even before she sang the ballad. She won a Tony Award for her Celie, a Grammy prize for the show’s album and an Emmy for her performance in a morning TV show where she played I’m Here. She believed that her success in the US would be the key to major roles at home. It didn’t happen.
“I was offered the Blue Fairy in the National Theater in Pinocchio,” Erivo once said with a wry smile. “I knew what hard work looked like – and I never shied away from it – but I wasn’t willing to go back. Taking part would be almost the same as laughing at the people who had invested so much energy in me. ”
In the film Harriet, her character Harriet Tubman uses guerrilla tactics to free her fellow slaves and runs or drives in many bareback scenes. Thanks to the excellent physical fitness of Cynthia, it all looked effortless. Looking to the future, as she talks to her mother and sister every day and travels regularly to London, she knows it is unlikely that she will give up America.
“I have had opportunities here that never came to England,” she says simply. In recent days she has practiced in LA to perform Stand Up – her Oscar nominated song – during the ceremony.
Three years ago she sang on the Governors Ball that follows the Academy Awards. “This time I’m in the show! I am this little black girl from South London and I sing at the Oscars!
“My mother and sister are my dates, and two friends are my guests. I have planned four outfits. One for the red carpet. One to perform Stand Up, another for the Governors Ball and then something comfortable to run to all other parties. “
She cannot hide her excitement – or her hope.
“I only want other black women – actually all young women – who are in the art of seeing my face and going:” Oh, it’s possible. “”
In the film she is running in many scenes or bareback. Thanks to Cynthia’s excellent physical fitness, it all seemed effortless. Cynthia depicted in the film