Even before her first film, Cynthia Erivo had made a name for herself in the theatre. The Tony Award-winning actress became known for her role in The Color Purple, making her a top choice for Steve McQueen’s Widows (via Diversity).
Continuing some of the director’s best films, Erivo joins an already impressive cast as Belle’s runaway driver. Starring Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki and Daniel Kaluuya, the story follows a group of women who must pull off a heist after their husbands are killed due to a bad job. While not technically one of the titled widows, Belle is still an integral part of the cast. Like a fierce but unlucky mother, she needs a plan to make things go well, just like everyone else, to get out of her own terrible situation. In an interview with Vulture, Erivo explained how much it took to prepare for the role. “I worked a lot with my own weight. I lifted a little, not a lot, because I needed to stay lean, ”Erivo said. “I ran a lot so I could make sure my speed stayed high. I’ve done everything from CrossFit to jump rope.”
Erivo’s hard work has clearly paid off and she delivered an emotional and unforgettable performance. Indeed, her first film with one of Hollywood’s most talented directors helped turn her talents into a burgeoning film career.