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Oscars 2020: Who is Cynthia Erivo, Best Actress nominee for Harriet?

Cynthia Erivo in Harriet.
Cynthia Erivo in Harriet. Pic credit: Glen Wilson / Focus Features

It’s the biggest night of the year with countless nominees who can potentially walk away with an Oscar. One of the most packed categories of the night is Best Actress in a Leading Role, which includes major performances from actresses such as Charlize Theron, Renee Zellweger, Scarlett Johansson, and Cynthia Erivo.

The actress who has most viewers extremely curious is, in fact, Erivo, and if she seems familiar, it’s because, beyond her role in Harriet, she has been making quite a splash in the industry.

Who is Cynthia Erivo, the Best Actress nominee for Harriet? Here is everything to know about the rising award-winning star.

Who is Cynthia Erivo, best actress nominee for Harriet?

Cynthia Erivo, a Londoner according to Broadway, won a Tony Award in 2016 for her rendition of Celie of The Color Purple. She found herself on the red carpet tonight for her nominations for Best Actress and Best Original Song.

Erivo is a woman who could make history if she wins an Academy Award tonight. She could be one of only 16 people that have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.

An interview with OprahMag shows Erivo considers Harriet one of the most impactful roles she has played to date. Born to Nigerian immigrants, she knew as a child that she was destined for fame.

Her role in Harriet, alongside her own story of parents who overcame a lot, made her the perfect fit for the role. It’s only appropriate she was nominated for an Oscar.

She carries her work in her heart and says, “If it doesn’t leave your heart, where is it coming from?” A look at her work shows she does not take roles she is not passionate about.

OprahMag also shows she is a very direct person. She makes it clear she knew from a young age what she wanted to do. A look at her hobbies shows she is a dog person who loves any kind of workout and is a fan of healthy eating.

More about Cynthia Erivo, Best Actress nominee for Harriet

As far as why she is so familiar, well, Erivio has made a strong impact on television and film since she broke through the industry. As of late, Erivio can be seen weekly on HBO’s haunting procedural series The Outsider based on the Stephen King novel.

In the show, she plays a private investigator named Holly Gibney, who has boundless quirks as well as intelligence.

Before this, she showed off her amazing vocals and acting talent in Bad Times at the El Royale, which was a pulp-style thriller by Drew Goddard — as well as a powerhouse supporting role in Widows.

Even if she doesn’t win an Oscar tonight, Ervio is going places. Namely, she will star in Genius: Aretha, a National Geographic show where she plays the namesake character according to Billboard.

Below is an appearance she had on Stephen Colbert, where she demonstrates her Aretha skills and makes Colbert shed a tear.

Regardless of the outcome of the Oscars tonight, Cynthia Erivo has a bright future ahead of her and is an actress to continue to watch in the future.

The Oscars are on ABC tonight at 8/7c.

John Dotson is a film and television reviewer and commentator from Texas. His favorite part of what he does is getting to discuss film and... read more
John Dotson

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