Cynthia Erivo on representation in the film industry
The only black actress nominated for the Oscars this year, Erivo says it’s up to everyone to make sure the room reflects the world we live in
You notice Cynthia Erivo’s eyes first. Round, huge, black. Then the gap-toothed smile. Her hair is sheared close to her scalp, sometimes dyed to match the colour of the clothes she’s wearing. And if you can drag your gaze away from those eyes, it’s the nails you see next. “Long” doesn’t describe them aptly — 3.5cm, multicoloured and with sharp, pointy ends; a ring on every finger.
Then she opens her mouth and you forget everything about her appearance as you’re mesmerised by the sound that comes out of it. She compares her singing to the feeling of flying, before adding with a smile: “When I sing, it feels like sitting in the centre of joy.”