Meet the British-Nigerian actress, who could become youngest EGOT winner
Nigerian-born British actress, Cynthia Erivo, is living her dream life after snagging two nominations for the Academy Awards better known as the Oscars.
The talented movie star was nominated for the ‘Best Actress’ category of the award for her role in ‘Harriet,’ a 2019 American biographical film, while ‘Stand Up,’ her collaboration with Joshua Brian Campbell, also made the cut for “Best Original Song.”
If she wins the Oscar, the talented actress will make history as the youngest performer to join the ‘EGOT’ club a selected group of artists who have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony Award.
The gifted singer and songwriter won the other three for her work in ‘The Color Purple’.
Meanwhile, Erivo’s Oscar nominations event slated for February 9, 2020 come on the heels of the heated controversies that trailed her refusal to honour the invitation to perform at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards.
The film star, who was invited to perform ‘Stand Up’, explained that she snubbed the invitation because the “all-white award” didn’t take into consideration people of other colours.
She also called out the organisers of the award for not having a female director nomination for this year’s edition of the BAFTAs.
“I felt like it didn’t represent people of colour in the right light,” she was quoted as saying by “Extra.”
“It felt like it was calling on me as an entertainer as opposed to a person who was a part of the world of film and I think that it’s important to make it known that it’s not something that you throw in as a party trick, you know?”
“I work hard and every single person of color who is working in these films this year has worked really hard, and there are many of them who deserve to be celebrated.”
The 33-year-old actress, however, relished her nominations for the Oscars, describing the feat as “overwhelming.”
“To receive two Oscar nominations for a film paying tribute to Harriet Tubman, a person whose heart and spirit are the embodiment of courage, makes this morning’s news beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” Erivo told CNN.
“This is more than a dream come true. When I got the opportunity to play this incredible woman. I felt truly honored that Kasi [Lemmons, the film’s director] and our producers saw fit to have me play the part; being asked to co-write and perform the song in the film was the icing on an already wonderful cake. I continue to feel overwhelmed with gratitude today to the Academy for recognizing my performance and our song ‘Stand Up’.”
Born on January 8, 1987, to Nigerian parents in Stockwell, South London, Erivo was raised by Edith, her single mother and a health care professional, who came to Britain from Nigeria when she was 24.
Erivo started her foray into acting while at La Retraite Roman Catholic Girls’ School, a secondary school in Clapham Park, where she caught the attention of many with her skills.
She, however, had no interest taking up acting as a career, preferring to pursue her university education.
After going to University of East London to study music psychology, her interest in acting was however, piqued by one of the early acting teachers she had worked with and others around.
The actress appreciated her mother, noting she was a major inspiration that aided her rise to fame.
“My mother worked non-stop to help me,” she was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.
“My mother came to Britain when she was 24. She was supposed to do a catering degree but she knew she wanted to do nursing.
“She doubled up and did the nursing degree at night. Whenever she needs something to happen she just does it and I followed her example. We both have a streak of stubbornness.”