Cynthia Erivo Remembers Oscar Winner Kobe Bryant, Talks Oscars Diversity

Instagram via @cynthiaerivo

Uptown Magazine

Cynthia Erivo is the only Black acting nominee at this year's Academy Awards.

Courtesy of Extra

Cynthia Ervio sat down with Extra’s Renee Bargh at the annual Oscar nominees luncheon, where she reflected on Oscar winner Kobe Bryant’s (Dear Basketball, 2018) sudden death.

Of the Los Angeles Lakers legend, Erivo said, “He was a giant everywhere. He was international. What it made me feel automatically … Life is fragile and we must live and love as loud as we possibly can.”

Erivo is nominated for an Oscar as an actress for her portrayal of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Harriet, and as a songwriter of the film's rousing anthem "Stand Up." Asked about what Tubman might think of all the attention, she commented, “I hope she's smiling wherever she is and knowing that people are learning about her again.”

The 33-year-old will be performing her Oscar-nominated song on the telecast. She admitted, “I'm actually kind of emotional thinking about it … It just means a lot.”

Erivo, the only Black acting nominee at this year’s Oscar, has spoken openly about the need for diversity in Hollywood. "I think maybe a couple rules need to change. We need diversity across everything ... If you can get to the center of it, it can start filtering out.”

“It should never just be me in an acting category … I don’t want the work of people who are brilliant to go on and be [forgotten] after their gone,” Erivo noted.

Erivo said she was happy to be at the luncheon, calling it "beyond a dream."

Erivo, who has been making a splash on the red carpet, already has a dress for the Oscars! She said, “We have a fitting for it next week.”

Who’s her date for the big night? She answered, “I'm taking my mother, my little sister, my best friend, and a woman I call my surrogate mother 'cause she's been really helpful since I've gotten here.”

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