For a movie actor, the Oscar is the highest recognition one can receive, while the Emmy holds the same place for television actors. The Grammy is to the musical world what Tony is for Broadway artists. However, once in a blue moon, talented artists have been graced with all the four honors. This coveted club of multi-talented performers is acronymically termed EGOT winners, short for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony winners. British artist, Cynthia Chinasaokwu O. Erivo is on the verge of joining the EGOT league which boasts of legends like Whoopi Goldberg.
Having won the Tony Award in 2016 for her performance in the Broadway musical, ‘The Color Purple,’ Cynthia went on to win a Grammy and a Daytime Emmy Award in 2017. With her latest cinematic release, ‘Harriet,’ a biopic, critics feel that Erivo has a real shot at winning the Oscar award for Best Actress.
A student of music psychology in college, Cynthia joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art later to pursue her passion for the performing arts. Having begun acting at the tender age of 11, she always knew that her calling was one involving the performing stage. Having grown up in London, Cynthia was born to Nigerian immigrants who also seemed to know that she was fated to be a renowned performing artist.
Her first bout of global fame came with her portrayal of Cecile in the Broadway musical, ‘The Color of Purple.’ Perhaps, this was the first foreboding sign of her future as a multi-talented star as the character of Cecile had been made famous by EGOT winner, Whoopi Goldberg in Steven Spielberg’s film of the same name. Time will tell whether Cynthia wins the Oscar for ‘Harriet.’ But one thing is certain, she has more than proved her mettle as a gifted artist. Here are a few upcoming projects that Cynthia is slated to be a part of. Releasing in the near future, these projects are bound to showcase some of the best performances yet, from the artist.
4. Genius (2017-)
Cynthia Erivo will soon be seen in another biographical work- that of the legendary musician, Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s anthology television series. Each season, the show chronicles the lives of exceptionally gifted and revolutionary individuals. The first season focused on Albert Einstein while the second season portrayed Pablo Picasso’s life. Johnny Flynn essayed the role of Einstein while Oscar-winner Geoffrey Rush played Picasso.
The third and upcoming season will witness the depiction of American singer, pianist, and songwriter, Aretha Franklin. Her struggles will be documented in this period drama featuring recordings of her performances like ‘Chain of Fools,’ ‘Baby I Love You’ and ‘Don’t Play That Song,’ among several others. The season will be helmed by Suzan Lori Parks- the Pulitzer prize-winning playwright of ‘Topdog/Underdog’ fame who will take on the role of showrunner.
Executive producer, Brian Grazer reportedly feels that “Cynthia is the perfect person to portray the profoundly human story behind the genius that is Aretha” as “Not only is she an incredible and bona fide star, but she is soulful and has tremendous depth as a musical artist.” The third season is slated to air in spring 2020.
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3. The Saviors (2020)
Cynthia Erivo will soon be seen in another promising project, ‘The Saviors’, by Kevin Hamedani. The script of the movie, written by Hamedani himself had been selected on the 2017 Black List. The American writer and director has been named as one of the “25 Screenwriters to Watch” at the Austin Film Festival, which makes this project promising.
The plot of ‘Saviors’ revolves around a mixed couple with a troubled marriage and financial issues who rent out their garage as an Airbnb to a couple of Muslims. Soon, they begin suspecting the two to be involved in terrorist activities, forcing them to make decisions that could have a gigantic impact on the world.
2. Chaos Walking (2020)
The movie adaptation of Patrick Ness’ trilogy of the same name will see Cynthia Erivo reprise a pivotal role alongside popular actors like Tom Holland, Mads Mikkelsen, and Daisy Ridley. Categorized under the genre of dystopic science fiction, the movie will depict a fictional world without women.
Despite its intriguing premise and high production value, the movie has been unfortunately delayed several times. Originally scheduled for an international release in the month of February in 2019, the film’s production house, Lionsgate Films ordered multiple reshoots pushing its release date further. The reason for such massive reshoots was the fact that they were dissatisfied with the movie’s commercial viability.
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1. Needle in a Timestack (TBA)
After ‘Black Panther’ popularised Afrofuturism, the science fiction genre is witnessing a convention bending revolution with increased representation of non-white races. John Ridley’s ‘Needle in a Timestack’ is an upcoming movie that is all set to carry this tradition forward. Ridley shot to fame after writing the screenplay for the Oscar-winning movie, ’12 Years a Slave,’ and is all set to write and direct this adaptation of Robert Silverberg’s short story.
It follows the tale of an African-American couple who strive to save their marriage in an age where time travel is possible. Although the exact cast and crew details have not been released, it can be safely speculated that Cynthia Erivo will appear the role of the wife, whose husband is determined to make the marriage work. The movie promises to be an exciting exploration of inclusivity in the genre of science fiction.
The recently released biopic, ‘Harriet‘, sees Cynthia Erivo take on the role of Harriet Tubman, the 19th-century American abolitionist known for having helped numerous African American slaves escape the horrors of slavery through the Underground Railroad system.
Early reviews have praised Cynthia’s scintillating performance, with many critics deeming it Oscar-worthy. Although the casting of Cynthia as Harriet had been criticized severely before the movie’s release, thanks to Erivo being British and not African-American, her invigorating acting was enough to silence the naysayers. The movie released on November 1, 2019.
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