Cynthia Erivo ended her 2018 with two critically acclaimed performances. The UK actresses starred as Darlene in Bad Times At The El Royale and Belle in Steve McQueen’s criminally overlooked crime drama, Widows.
Now, Erivo is stepping in the shoes of Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet, and we have our first look at the Tony Award-winning actress as the famed freedom fighter.
The film is directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Lemmons and Gregory Allen Howard.
When Erivo was first cast as Tubman, there was criticism surrounding her casting. The criticism mainly stemmed from the fact that Erivo, a British actress with Nigerian ancestry, was set to play an African-American historical figure. Her name was just a recent example of criticism of Hollywood’s inclination toward casting Black African and British actors in the roles of prominent historical African-American characters.
The logline of the film is as follows: Based on the story of iconic freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, Harriet follows Tubman on her escape from slavery and subsequent missions to free dozens of slaves through the Underground Railroad in the face of growing pre-Civil War adversity.
Harriet, also stars Janelle Monae, Joe Alwyn, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr. and Antonio J. Bell. The film is slated to open later this year.