Cynthia Erivo has said being nominated for this year’s EE Rising Star Award “means a lot”, particularly because she is so new to the film industry.
The actress and singer, who has previously won a Tony Award for her Broadway role in The Colour Purple, made her big screen debut last year in two films, Widows and Bad Times At The El Royale.
Speaking at the Bafta EE Rising Star Award announcement, Erivo told the Press Association: “It feels like you’re being voted for and noticed by your peers and, as a Brit and as a Londoner, it feels really special.
“It’s one of those ones, especially for my acting in film, because it’s so new and I’m very to it, so to be noticed this way, it means a lot.”
The other four names on the list are Black Panther star Letitia Wright, Jessie Buckley, Irish actor Barry Keoghan and American star Lakeith Stanfield.
Of the shortlist, Erivo added: “It’s a good indication of what’s coming out of Britain at the moment. Letitia (Wright) is incredible, she’s a sweet, sweet person, it feels good to be amongst your peers.
“Jessie (Buckley) was at Rada with me, she was a year or two below me, so it’s wonderful to see this new influx of British talent coming up, we’re all working really hard and I think it just goes to show that if you do some good work, it’ll be rewarded.”
The 31-year-old also revealed she has other plans in the pipeline aside from her film career.
She said: “I just signed to a label so I’m going to be making some music, which I’m really excited about. It’s a dream come true to be able to do that”.
The stage and film actress has a trio of movies due for release this year and hinted at “something else” she is also working on.
“I don’t know if I’m allowed to speak about it yet, but a new thing is coming up, which is really exciting, hopefully it’ll be announced soon. It’s a new venture, something I haven’t done before,” she explained.
The nominees were selected by a jury including broadcaster Edith Bowman, who said: “One thing that the EE award has always done is that it always had a mix of representing male and female talent, but what’s great this year is that you see three women up there who have just made such an impact.
“And Cynthia, she’s phenomenal, you look what she’s done in the theatre and in a year taken on feature films and what she’s achieved with just those two films, it’s like wow, I’m excited to see where she goes”.
The EE Rising Star Award is the only gong voted for by the public at the Baftas.
The winner will be announced at the Bafta ceremony on February 10 and voting is open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA.