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Cynthia Erivo

Meet Oscar Nominee Cynthia Erivo

Wikimedia |
By Sharon Oliver

Cynthia Erivo may not be a household name just yet, but it will be. One of the most gifted thespians of this generation, Erivo is kicking in doors and taking names later.

The South London born actress is a double nominee at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards. She is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Harriet Tubman in 'Harriet' and for Best Original Song “Stand Up", which she co-wrote for the film.

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The Movie 'Harriet'

Giphy | TIFF

The 33-year-old actress recently told author Roxane Gay for The Hollywood Reporter during an interview that she considered a nomination to be both a celebration and a real eye-opener.

Playing the lead role of such a powerful and historical figure in such an intense movie was certainly a crowning achievement for Erivo.

Cynthia Erivo previously starred alongside Chris Hemsworth and Dakota Johnson in 'Bad Times at The El Royale' and with Viola Davis in 'Widows.' 'Harriet' is only her third feature film!

Cynthia Erivo thanks Joaquin Phoenix

Cynthia Erivo
Gettyimages | Dimitrios Kambouris

Speaking to Variety, Cynthia Erivo praised 'Joker' star Joaquin Phoenix for calling out the Academy's lack of diversity problem. “And to say it in a place that at that time, he was really brave and it meant a lot to me, as a Brit, to hear him say it.”

“I hope we didn’t fall on deaf ears. We never know,” Erivo added. “But I think it was time for someone like him to say it, because people like me, the black girls of the world, the black men of the world, are saying it consistently, but we’re not always being heard. So maybe it might have taken that to change something.”

Cynthia Erivo is the only person of color nominated for an Academy Award in the acting categories.

Playing Aretha Franklin

Erivo and Aretha Franklin
Gettyimages | Bruce Glikas

Premiering May 25, fans will see Cynthia Erivo playing the Queen of Soul - Aretha Franklin in the National Geographic anthology series 'Genius: Aretha.' There will be a 30-second teaser airing during Sunday’s Academy Awards. Erivo states that Aretha Franklin had been a source of inspiration for her since she was a little girl and whose "strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon."

Also starring in the anthology series are Courtney B. Vance, who will portray Franklin’s father, David Cross, Pauletta Washington, Malcolm Barrett and Patrice Covington

Quadruple Threat

Giphy | Tony Awards

Currently starring as Holly Gibney in the HBO series 'The Outsiders' Erivo plays an eccentric detective bent on getting to the bottom of the murder of Frankie Peterson.

She gained national attention for her role as Celie in the Broadway production of 'The Color Purple,' earning her the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and making her the toast of Broadway.

Cynthia Erivo will achieve EGOT status, meaning she will have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony, if she wins even one of those little golden Oscar statues Sunday.

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