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Cynthia Erivo talks about her Emmy nomination for playing Aretha Franklin and the remake of ‘The Rose’ (exclusive)

Cynthia Erivo talks about her Emmy nomination for playing Aretha Franklin and the remake of 'The Rose' (exclusive)

On Tuesday, when the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards nominees were announced, Cynthia Erivo was in the middle of a photoshoot when her publicist suddenly came running up to hug her. “I looked at her and thought, ‘What happened?’” The actress told ET that she learned that she is nominated for Best Leading Actress in an Anthology or Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha.

“I then proceeded to cry and cry,” he continued. “It’s just an overwhelming feeling to be celebrated for the work that you’re doing, but particularly for this project, you know, being Aretha Franklin … it feels like we can celebrate a little more you know?”

The recognition is due to her acclaimed role as the Queen of Soul in the National Geographic limited series, which chronicles Franklin’s efforts to record her first album with Atlantic Records and then covers the main moments of her career and personal life in both. following decades. While the performer is just one Oscar away from an EGOT, it also marks her first acting nomination for a Primetime Emmy after previously winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program for her performance in The color Purple.

In recounting the rest of the day’s events, Erivo revealed that she tried to call her best friend Michaela Coel, star and creator of I can destroy you, which garnered four nominations, but was unable to contact the British actress. “We are very close friends and we have known each other for a long time,” she said, adding that later “she called my partner, I told my sister, my best friend,” as well as one of her mentors. “We just cry on the phone all the time … So it’s been a wonderful 24 hours to be honest.”

And the celebration continued until the next day, where she co-hosted the Saks Fifth Avenue summer party at the Parrish Art Museum with Saks CEO Marc Metrick. Decked out in an Alexander McQueen hybrid denim jacket and skirt from the brand’s Pre-Fall 2021 collection, alongside Bottega Veneta platform leather mules, a stunning Erivo looked ready for the red carpet.

“I just felt like today was the right time to wear something like this. It’s like, right at the intersection of dressing stylish, fresh, and edgy at the same time, “she said, then added,” For me, there’s no excuse, there was no reason why I couldn’t dress smart. If I were to walk into the kitchen, then I would have an outfit for it. ”

Cynthia Erivo At The Saks Fifth Avenue Summer Party
BFA for Saks Fifth Avenue

While still excited about the nomination, Erivo shared that the role and recognition come with a sense of duty “to reintroduce Aretha as a human being. We all know her as the star and there are people who know her music, they recognize the sound of her voice, but I don’t know if people recognize her as a person ”.

Of course, Genius it is not the only project that celebrates the life of Franklin. Going out in August is I respect, a biographical film starring Erivo’s ex Purple co-star, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. While the two haven’t discussed any advice on how to portray the icon, Erivo noted that the project “means a lot to her and I’m very excited to see her movie. I know you miss Aretha. “

She added: “It is something very special to be able to have more than one iteration of her life, because we rarely get to celebrate our black icons. [in the way] that we are now, and to see that there is more than one at the same time is something really wonderful. ”

Looking ahead, Erivo has even more reasons for excitement. She is playing the Blue Fairy in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Pinocchio, which also stars Tom Hanks and Luke Evans, and will star in a remake of the 1979 film, The Rose.

Regarding the first, the actress said that “it is a dream come true. You know, a lot of us young people wish we were in a Disney movie and being able to play a fairy is special … I’m so excited for people to see it. ”

And as for tackling a role that earned Bette Midler an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, in The Rose? “This is beyond a dream,” he said. “I love Bette Midler and putting myself in the shoes she beautifully created is a dream come true. And I got a little stamp of approval from her, which is really cool. We exchanged emails and she sent the most wonderful email. ”

Meanwhile, fans who want to see Erivo in person can see her at the Hollywood Bowl on July 30, where she will perform covers of Franklin, Nina Simone and other female legends, as well as selections from her upcoming debut album. “You are going to hear me sing a lot. I chose a list of songs from women who have performed or written songs that have inspired me over the years, “she said, adding,” I really want to give people some music and hopefully give them a good night. remember.”

In the meantime, we hope that September 19 will be a night that Erivo will remember, when the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented live by Cedric the Entertainer on CBS and Paramount +.