Cynthia Erivo’s tattoo of Cicely Tyson reminds her to remain authentic

Erivo is now starring in the Netflix film, “Luther: The Fallen Sun”
Cynthia Erivo’s tattoo of Cicely Tyson reminds her to remain authentic
(Photo courtesy of Netflix)

Cynthia Erivo sees everyone in their fullness. At the end of our short interview (I was one of many personalities who asked her questions during a rapid-fire press junket for her new Netflix film, “Luther: The Fallen Sun“), she saw me. According to her, I’m “chic.” That’s quite the compliment from one of Hollywood’s most fashionable stars.

And when asked to shout out just one woman she’s thinking about during Women’s History Month this year, she named several.

“I’m always gonna say my mom because she’s really cool,” Erivo began. “I think of all the women who’ve been creating. I think of the women who are working with me now: Michelle Yeoh, Ariana [Grande].” She continued, “I think of creators like Lena Waithe. I think of Angela Bassett and Viola [Davis], who I’m watching do beautiful things, who I’ve both known and worked with. And those people really inspire me.”

Career-wise, Erivo isn’t at the top by accident. Her talent, authenticity, and love for others placed her where she was always meant to be — and where I believe she’ll stay.

On her skyrocketing fame:

“Sometimes it takes my breath away because it feels like I’ve been doing this for a lifetime now, just because of how much has happened, how soon, how fast, and how big the things have been. I’m really grateful — endlessly grateful — for the opportunities that have come my way.”

On what attracted her to “Luther: The Fallen Sun:”

“The script, and her — I’ve just never seen a character like that before. I’ve never seen a woman in power addressed in that way. The way she’s introduced, the subtlety of the way she gets to talk to people, there’s no sort of force in it. She just is. It is what it is.

On her inspired tattoo of Cicely Tyson: 

“I have a tattoo of Cicely Tyson on my leg because when I read her book, I realized just how much work she had done and how she created her own path, did the things that meant the most to her, and stuck to it. She was authentically herself all the way through.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Watch the video above for more.

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