Cynthia Erivo’s Avatar Halloween Costume Took Three Hours to Prepare


-Congratulations on the film. I have to ask,
this is the first film portrayal of Harriet Tubman.
-Yes. Yes, it is. -So when you get offered
a part like that, excited, nervous,
any apprehension? -All of the above.
-Yeah. -You fall out of your seat. Almost spit your tea
on the ground. [ Laughter ] But, yeah, really, just —
it’s an honor. You know,
it’s a huge responsibility, and you want to make sure
that you are as truthful and as full as you can be. But, yeah, it was amazing. -In the clip,
we saw Leslie Odom Jr. -Yes.
-He is a friend — a longtime friend of yours,
yeah? -I know him a little bit.
-You know him a little bit. With an undertaking like this,
does it bring you comfort to work with somebody
you know so well? -Absolutely.
He’s just — He’s the sweetest,
most giving person. And he knows me,
so he knows buttons to push. So we can always
play with each other and stuff. -Right, right.
-But I think it was really complementary to be able to play
those two roles with each other, because we can go as far as
we need to to make the roles, I guess, sing a little bit. -Sometimes we have actors
on the show, and we talk about
the special skills they would list
on their résumés, but sometimes
they get called out, ’cause they actually
have to do it. -Yeah.
-And they’re very hard. You have a lot of things
that you do in this film. -Yes.
-You ride a horse, you shoot a gun.
-I do. -You run. You climb cliffs,
all the time in a corset. -Yes.
-Were those all things that you actually knew how to do
going into it? -Yes, except
for climbing a cliff. That was a new thing.
-Yeah. You do it quite well.
-Thank you very much. -You’re welcome, yeah. -I had not had
very much practice. I practiced that day. Because I’m a glutton
for punishment. But it was — it was
an experience, for sure, and I wanted to be
as close as to — as the character as I could be,
so I took all the risk. Gave my director a heart attack, because I wanted
to do all of that stuff. -Right.
-But, yeah, most of it, I could do already.
-Well, very well done. -Thank you.
-We were talking backstage. Because, in the film, “Widows,”
which you’re wonderful in, you do a lot of running in that.
-Yes. -You’re an excellent
on-screen runner. -Why, thank you.
-And then I was happy to hear that, in real life,
you’re a runner. You ran the New York City
Marathon last year? -A couple years ago, yeah.
-A couple years ago. -Yeah.
[ Cheers and applause ] -How was that experience? -It was really cool, actually. I really — there’s a really
wonderful energy around it. The people are there
to root you on. But when you hit about mile 22, it felt like a brick was thrown
at the back of my head. -Yeah.
-Yeah, it was tough. But it was
a thrilling experience. -That’s what we — do you think
you would do another one? -Yeah.
-Okay, good. -I want to do one next year.
-Oh, excellent. Look at that. You’re not taking
any time off at all. -Never.
[ Laughter ] -You — You actually
write a song — -Yes.
-You perform a song on the soundtrack.
-Yeah. -And then you also
wrote it, as well. I did not know
that you were a songwriter. How did it come about
that you both sang and wrote a song for this soundtrack? -Because I like doing
a lot of work. -Yeah, no kidding.
[ Laughter ] And you did it all on a horse.
-Yes. -Yeah.
[ Laughter ] -No, I — You know,
after we shot the film, I kind of had a feeling
that I might be able to give something in that vein. I love to sing.
It’s part of my life. And I’ve been doing it
for a really long time. And writing is something
I’ve been doing since I was 16. It’s just now I get to show it.
-Yeah. -And so I just asked
if I could be a part of the writing process,
and we found this amazing writer in seminary school,
who had put forward a submission for the end credits. And I asked if I could be a part
of making that song feel like me and of the film. And we came together and put
this piece of work on screen. And hopefully people like it. -Oh, I think they will.
I definitely think they will. One thing I have —
have really enjoyed… -Yeah.
-…and I’ve liked a great deal, and I don’t think I’m alone. You do a lot of press
for a film like this. And you have been having
some dominant performances on the red carpet.
-Thank you. -And I’d just like
to show some of them on. Because you bring an amazing
amount of color to it. -Yes.
[ Cheers ] -Tie it together. This one, so beautiful. [ Cheers and applause ] I like this one. The expression
changes with the outfit. -Yeah, no,
the expression has to change. Everything is — all the details
have to match, you know? -Yeah, exactly.
I liked — so the whole part — -The whole thing.
It’s character. Each person’s a character. -And then you were — This is this year’s Met Ball,
yeah? -This was the year before?
-Year before. -I think, yeah. -This right here
is an incredible look. Just every part of it. [ Cheers and applause ]
-Thank you. -How —
At the end of the night, how intensive is the makeup
removal for an outfit like this? -Well, you know, it’s not as
intensive as you think it is. I did not remove
any of my eyebrows with the
Swarovski crystals here. No eyebrow hairs
were harmed in this action. No, you just go gently
and take as much as you can. And you do your whole regime and make sure you’re not
looking crazy in the morning. -For someone
who is obviously very skilled at putting a look together…
-Yes. -…will you be doing anything
for Halloween? -Not this year.
-Okay. -Because I’ll probably be
on a flight somewhere. -Yeah, and that is —
-And I don’t want to — -Yeah.
-Yeah. -No one wants to get on a flight
with someone in costume, yeah. -No, no, no.
[ Light laughter ] But I do like to dress up,
as you can see. And one year,
I was dressed as an Avatar. -Oh, wow.
-Yes. That was
a very interesting process. By the end of the night,
it looked like I had killed a Smurf.
-Oh, yeah. [ Laughter ]
Right. That’s, like,
a lot of Halloween costumes start the night
with a lot of optimism. -Right.
-And by the end of the night, they’re like,
“That’s a dead Smurf.” -I mean, it was hilarious.
I had contacts in. And I had these nails,
so it was like, “I can’t get my eyes out.
Can’t get my contacts.” -Was that, like, a full —
were you completely blue? -A full situation.
Head-to-toe blue. -Wow! So you —
I mean, how long did that take? -Three hours.
-Three hours. Man, you like Halloween.
-I’m committed. I’m committed.
-Yeah. You do.
I mean, I guess that’s true. Like, I mean, if I —
Again, if they had given me the part of Harriet Tubman,
I would’ve had someone else climb that cliff.
[ Laughter ] You are very clearly a person
who will do every part of it. -Yes, I will.
-Including taking three hours to make yourself an Avatar.
-Yes. -Hey, thank you so much
for being here. Congratulations on the film.
[ Cheers and applause ] Lovely to meet you.
-Thank you. -Cynthia Erivo, everybody.

31 thoughts on “Cynthia Erivo’s Avatar Halloween Costume Took Three Hours to Prepare

  1. Harriet Tubman was a badass woman! So many black people have done amazing things in this world and it's time they get the recognition for it. Past time Tubman be honored in more ways than just telling her story in school. Can't wait to watch the movie.

  2. Enough of KOSHER lobbying , the movie is a betrayal to the blackness historical heritage, WAKE UP they continuous to misinformed and bamboozle BLACK FACTUAL history.

  3. I am so excited to see this movie! Cynthia Erivo brings me to tears just in the trailer and I can’t wait to see her performance as Harriet Tubman. One of my favorite historical figures.

  4. You need an American actress to tell an American story – this is sad and the storyline is wrong, fabricated and full of leftist agenda. ADOS don't support this film. Comcast owns the film company and should stop the lawsuit against Byron Allen.

  5. To the BEAUTIFUL multi-talented cynthia, well done on a box office SMASH!
    They tried to pull u down, but you persevered and won as I knew you would- so proud!!
    Can't wait to see it when it hits screen in england.😍

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