BAFTA EE Rising Star Award 2019 nominee Cynthia Erivo discusses the need for collaboration in the British film industry
Cynthia Erivo is making waves in the entertainment world, both in the UK and in Hollywood. The British performer has been acting up a storm on the West End and on Broadway in The Color Purple: The Musical, singing her foes into a false sense of security in Bad Times at El Royale, and ganging up with some badass women in Widows. Moving and shaking with the elite of Young Hollywood, the 32-year-old is proving to be an inspiration for the next wave of actors and actresses.
Ahead of the Bafta ceremony on Sunday 10th February 2019, Erivo had the opportunity to talk about her practices; working with and learning from the likes of Viola Davis; and her thoughts on the current state of the creative industry when compared to our American counterparts – as the UK is currently falling behind on mainstream media. Unfortunately, due to the current economic climate, our industries are being drawn inwards and are not able to fully utilise the raw talent that the British Isles constantly produce.
When asked to describe why she enjoys being on stage or creating a film, Erivo explained that it was down to being able to tell stories and share them with the audience to provoke a reaction. As a child, the star continued, she would sing in productions and enjoy the atmosphere she had created. She has carried this joy of performing into her current career, in which she proudly brands herself as an actor and a singer.
Aside from celebrating her highlights both on stage and film, Erivo put a lot of emphasis on the differences between the creative industries in America and Britain – with the former being known for being more collaborative, welcoming and accommodating, whilst at home, this sector can come across as cold, distant and standoffish. This is, unfortunately, a statement that many would say is true, and in order for us to grow and maintain our talent, the British film industry will have to share a lot more and be open to creating that sense of community.
When the actor was told that she had been nominated for the award of Bata EE Rising Star, she was elated: “I’m both delighted and grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award. It means a lot to be recognised for doing something that I love and I’m really looking forward to the ceremony in London.”
In 2019, Erivo will be seen starring alongside Daisy Ridley and David Oyelowo in the highly anticipated sci-fi thriller Chaos Walking from director Doug Liman, and in John Ridley’s Needle in a Timestack alongside Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto and Leslie Odom Jr.
The Rising Star category also listed Letitia Wright, Jessie Buckley, Barry Keoghan and Lakeith Stanfield, with Wright taking the award for a well-deserved win.
Amaliah Sara Marmon-Halm
The EE British Academy Film Awards was broadcast on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 10th February. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds working in film, games and television, visit their website here.
Watch the session here: