“Everyone needs to learn about this woman,” says Cynthia Erivo on playing Harriet Tubman

Production recently wrapped on upcoming biopic, Harriet

BAFTA Rising Star nominee Cynthia Erivo has declared that “everyone needs to learn about” Harriet Tubman, ahead of her new biopic, Harriet.

In discussing her latest role at a panel this weekend, the BAFTA nominated actor Erivo described the process of playing Tubman as “inspiring, terrifying, harrowing and probably the most physical I’ve ever been in my entire life.”

She continued: “The story is such an important one to tell, and it’s crazy that it hasn’t been told yet. I think that everyone needs to learn about this woman. There’s always a fear when you’re portraying a woman who means a great deal to a lot of people, and you want to make sure that you do her justice.”


Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman is one of the most well remembered abolitionists of the 19th century, whose actions allowed roughly 70 slaves to escape from captivity.

Erivo was speaking about her career after being nominated for the EE Rising Star Award. Other nominees include Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and Lakeith Stanfeild (Sorry to Bother You).

Last year’s award was picked up by Daniel Kaluuya, after wowing audiences in the horror-comedy, Get Out.

Cynthia also talked about her experience of working on Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale, where she grew particularly close with the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges.

“We spent so much time working together on the movie that we ended up bonding over music,” she said. “He’d bring in his guitar and play… he’s a really wonderful person.”


According to Erivo, the intense hotel room scene, which sees her singing ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ by The Supremes to mask Jeff Bridges’ unearthing of the floorboards, ended up taking 17 takes to get right.

See the full list of BAFTA 2019 winners here.