Entertainment & Arts

Cynthia Erivo: Tony award win has not sunk in

Cynthia Erivo Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cynthia Erivo won a Tony for her role of Celie in the adaptation of Alice Walker's 1982 novel The Color Purple

British actress Cynthia Erivo has said her recent Tony Award win for her performance in Broadway's The Colour Purple still "hasn't sunk in".

She picked up the prize at the ceremony on Sunday, but said "right now it's still really odd and strange and amazing".

"Give me a couple of months and maybe it will be a second nature thing," she said.

Erivo was speaking at the London premiere of Aladdin the musical.

Her boyfriend Dean John-Wilson plays the lead role in the show and the actress was on a whistle stop trip to London to be at the opening.

Erivo's journey in The Color Purple role started in London where she previously played the part during a successful stint at London's Menier Chocolate Factory in July 2013.

"It's been incredible - the journey that we've had and I've been able to take has been nothing like I could ever imagined. And I'm really pleased to have been able to do it with this character as I don't think I would have experienced it that way without it," she said.

But she added bringing show back to London in the future was not in her plans: "I don't think so - it might be nice to move on and try something new and special.

"What I don't want to do is make the piece that we're doing now lose its special spark by doing it over too much - I think there's something really special about it now and I don't want that to run out."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Musical acting winners at the Tony Awards were Daveed Diggs, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom, Jr and Renee Elise Goldsberry

Erivo's Tony win was a part of history as for the first time ever all four musical acting awards were won by black performers - something the star said the winners did not initially realise.

"It took us a minute to even realise that was the case. It's really awesome and I hope that it's a sign of things to come - that it's the way we're heading - for just people that are good at their work to be recognised whatever colour, creed or wherever they come from."

As for her future plans, Erivo has been taking advice from Oprah Winfrey.

The TV host and actress received an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Sofia in The Color Purple 30 years ago and has produced the Broadway revival.

Erivo said she has become a "mentor and friend".

"She's awesome - she's been so supportive and wonderful from the get go - she's been amazing and there to give some advice if I need it.

"I had lunch with her on Monday just before I flew here and she was just giving some gems of advice. She said I should be unafraid of what might be coming next, because there'll be some wonderful things - but just to be open, grateful and happy about what's happening in the now, so just enjoy it."

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