SHOWCASING TOMORROW’S STARS TODAY
What can you tell us about your role in heist thriller Widows?
Widows is badass. It’s about these four women who have to take their lives back in their own hands. Three of them have lost their husbands [in] a heist, and these women are left with their debt, so they decide to take over the heist. My character, Belle, goes one night to babysit for one of the wives’ children. They get talking and the wife sees her as an asset to this plan, so brings her in on it. It’s messy, it’s gritty, it’s not polite, and I love that.
How did you get the role?
Steve’s [Mcqueen] casting director had come to see me in The Color Purple [on Broadway]. Then we had breakfast and we just talked about everything from my life to the show to his films. About three weeks after that I got a call to say I had the role — which was amazing. He hadn’t seen the show, which was very daunting. Had he not liked the show we might have been in a different situation!
What was the maddest moment of your career so far?
Just finding out that I was on Broadway was pretty mad. Then being on Broadway, and then getting the nomination for the Tony [Award], live on television. It was Good Morning America and we performed ‘The Color Purple’ from The Color Purple, the big solo number at the end. I found out later on, hilariously, that I had won an Emmy for that [TV] performance. And then winning a Grammy. I didn’t know that you could win Grammys for musicals. Isn’t that crazy?
Do you have a dream project or director?
I will say this until I’m blue in the face: I really want to do a Marvel movie. I really want to play a superhero. People keep saying they’d like to see me play Storm. I would love that. I probably would love to be directed by Ryan Coogler, or Ava Duvernay because I’ve met her and I love her, she’s amazing. That is a dream.
Who is your favourite Movie Chris?
Hemsworth. Has to be. He’s amazing. There’s a massive scene [in Bad Times At The El Royale] where we’re all together. It was really cool to work with him. He’s just a good guy.
Who would win in a fight: a horse-sized duck or one hundred duck-sized horses?
One hundred duck-sized horses, because of numbers, and because when horses are ready to fight, they’re ready. Ponies are vicious if they need to be.
WIDOWS IS IN CINEMAS FROM 6 NOVEMBER
Above: Widows. Here: Bad Times At The El Royale
Cynthia Erivo, photographed exclusively for Empire in Old Street, London, on 16 June 2018.