Cynthia Erivo Reflects on Filming Emotional ‘Wicked’ Scene: ‘My Heart Broke Open and Tears Fell’

“I am endlessly grateful to play a role that turns the notion of what beauty is on its head,” the Tony winner writes

Cynthia Erivo The Rose
Photo by Terrell Mullin

Cynthia Erivo is opening up about her emotional journey during the production of “Wicked,” specifically speaking about the overwhelming experience of filming the musical number “I’m Not That Girl.”

“I realize I’ve said very little about my experience on Wicked and that’s mainly because I’ve been keeping my head down and mining this beautifully complex being that is Elphaba, and it’s really hard to put into words,” Erivo wrote in an Instagram post on Saturday.

Erivo’s reflection comes 111 days into production on the Jon M. Chu-directed film after the crew wrapped up filming “I’m Not That Girl,” a moment in which Erivo says her “heart broke open and tears fell.”

“I thought of us, the ones who often feel like they’re on the outside. The ones who don’t know that their differences, oddities, quirks are what make them beautiful and special. The ones who, for some reason, believe they can’t be loved and I felt proud to sing a song that might speak to those feelings,” Erivo wrote. “I am endlessly grateful to play a role that turns the notion of what beauty is on its head.”

Erivo, who stars opposite Ariana Grande in “Wicked,” also expressed her gratitude for working alongside “some of the most beautiful souls on the planet” and noted that she is “already grieving for the day [their] little bubble must come to an end.”

In addition to Erivo and Grande, the musical adaptation rounds out its cast with Jonathan Bailey, Ethan Slater, Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Yeoh. The Broadway hit is being split into two films, with the first due out next year.

Erivo concluded her post with her hopes for how viewers will receive the uplifting message when “Wicked” finally comes out.

“I desperately hope that when you finally see this film, you’ll see you, you’ll see me, you’ll see Jon and Ari and our hearts laid bare, you’ll see pain and joy and maybe, just maybe, you’ll see a little spark of light that says, ‘you are who you are for a reason and you are deserving of happiness and even though sometimes it might be hard to find, it is there for the taking,’” Erivo wrote. “I hope all the bumps and scrapes and scars that you’ve picked up along the way, get a little healing when you finally relax in a theater with a snack a drink and hopefully, friends you bring or friends you find when you’re there.”

“Wicked: Part 1” premieres in theaters on Nov. 27, 2024. Read Erivo’s full Instagram post below, and listen to Idina Menzel’s rendition of “I’m Not That Girl” below that.