Cynthia Erivo leaped onto the big screen in 2018 with roles in “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale,” but it was her star turn in 2019’s “Harriet” that earned the Broadway star two Oscar nominations, bringing her one step closer to an EGOT.
Erivo initially received acclaim for playing Celie in the Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” which earned her the Tony for Best Actress in a Musical. On Monday, she received nominations for Best Actress for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman, as well as for Best Original Song for “Stand Up” from the film. Erivo performed the song and helped write the music and lyrics with Joshuah Brian Campbell.
“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 said in a statement. “This is more than a dream come true. When I got the opportunity to play this incredible woman, I felt truly honored that [director Kasi Lemmons] 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’.”
In addition to her Tony win for “The Color Purple,” Erivo won a Grammy for the show’s album. The cast also won a daytime Emmy for their performance on the “Today” show.
If Erivo wins an Oscar, she would join the likes of Audrey Hepburn, John Legend, Whoopi Goldberg and Rita Moreno as EGOT winners.
Erivo was also nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) at the Golden Globes but lost to Renée Zellweger, who is also expected to be the front runner at the Oscars. “Stand Up” also earned a nomination at the Golden Globes, but Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” from “Rocketman” won in that category.