Cynthia Erivo is one step closer to joining the hallowed group of EGOT winners in Hollywood—meaning she would’ve earned an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, an Oscar and a Tony Award.
Her work as an actress and singer-songwriter in Harriet earned her a nomination for best actress and best original song at the 2020 Academy Awards.
If she wins the Oscar at the forthcoming ceremony next month, she’d become the 16th person to win the collection of shiny gold trophies.
Erivo already has an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Tony Award, so the Oscar nomination takes her a step closer. She earned a best actress Tony in 2016for her role as Celie Harris Johnson in The Color Purple. She won a Grammy in 2017 in the best musical theater album category for the same role and won a Daytime Emmy Award later that year for her performance on Today alongside her The Color Purple castmates.
With the win, she would join John Legend and Whoopi Goldberg, who are the only other Black entertainers to have earned an EGOT.
The Harriet biopic, which brought in $12 million in its first weekend in theaters, centers on Harriet Tubman, the iconic Black abolitionist who led enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad in America. Eve’s Bayou’s Kasi Lemmons directed the film.
After the nods were announced on Monday, Erivo took to Instagram to try and put into words how the moment felt.
“So I’ve spent the entire day trying to work out how to fully describe how I feel about this moment, and most times I’ve come up short, I lack the proper vernacular to adequately share with you how I feel inside, disbelief comes in waves, followed by realization, then sheer school girl giddiness, I’m then thrown into shock and then utter exhaustion (jet lag will do that to you),” she began in a lengthy caption.
“There is an outer body experience that comes with experiencing an extreme dream come true, it feels like you’re watching someone else live it,” Erivo continued. “It feels like you might wake up at any moment and have it snatched away but somehow, minute by minute, that doesn’t happen…..so if you asked me 4 years ago in the middle of a Broadway show if I saw myself being nominated for an @theacademy award, I may have said yes, but not today…not on a plane on the way to sing a concert in Japan.”
The potential EGOT winner added that she’s “blown away,” “speechless,” but more importantly “grateful.” She ended her caption with an inspiration message to other creatives who are pursuing their dreams.
“Your dreams are never too wild or too far fetched or too anything,” she said. “They are yours to make come true. They are valid. This has taken some learning on my part but, well, here we are today.”
The 92nd Academy Awards will air on ABC on February 9.