It’s not frequent for actors to snag three main awards for a single efficiency, however Cynthia Erivo did simply that in 2015 for her position as Celie in the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” incomes her a Tony, a Grammy and an Emmy and placing her only one step away from the coveted EGOT membership — the uncommon group of performers who’ve all these awards plus an Oscar.
Now, the actress, singer and songwriter may be a part of the membership: on Monday she was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, for greatest actress and greatest music, for the biopic “Harriet.” Those are the first Oscar nominations for the 33-year-old star, who has change into recognized for her highly effective soprano and swift Hollywood breakthrough.
If she does take residence an Oscar, she can be the youngest particular person ever to change into an EGOT winner and in the least time: it should have taken lower than 5 years.
Reached by cellphone after flying 12 hours to Japan, the place she was scheduled to offer concert events, Erivo described the information as loopy, mad. “The whole thing is loopy,” she stated. But she was additionally conscious that she was the sole black star nominated for an appearing Oscar this yr.
“It’s not enough that I’m the only one. It just isn’t,” she stated, noting that “far too much work was done this year by incredible women and men of color that should be celebrated.”
The nominations got here lower than every week after the British academy BAFTA put ahead an all-white list of acting nominees. That organization invited Erivo to perform “Stand Up,” her empowering “Harriet” ballad, but she told “Extra” that she had turned down the invitation because it “didn’t represent people of color in the right light.”
Would she perform it at the Oscars if asked? Speaking from Japan, Erivo said she would and described it as a responsibility: “I want to make sure that that song is put forward. And I want to make sure that song is celebrated just as well.”
For “The Color Purple,” Erivo not only took home a Tony for best actress in a musical in 2016 and a Grammy for best musical theater album in 2017, but she also won a Daytime Emmy award in 2017 for outstanding musical performance in a daytime program.
About 15 artists have achieved the elusive EGOT status, including Whoopi Goldberg, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn and Mel Brooks.
Her potential Oscars would come for her turn as the runaway slave turned abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who made history for leading enslaved people to freedom through the Underground Railroad. The drama infuses historical events with the director Kasi Lemmons’s gothic mystical style.
“It means the world to me to be able to portray her and to put her legacy onscreen and allow people to understand who she was and what she did and the work she was able to do with so little,” she said in the interview.
The film, which premiered in November, was the first biopic of the American hero and stirred a lot of buzz, including some negative, after some critics protested Erivo’s casting because she is British and not a descendant of enslaved African-Americans, like Tubman.
Erivo said at the time that she understood the frustrations of her casting, because there is a lack of opportunities for black actors in Hollywood, but had asked viewers to give her a chance.