Though telling a film rich in American historical context – shining a harsh light on their shameful past when it comes to slavery – the remarkable true story of Harriet Tubman is finally being told on screen, with two British actors in two of the leading roles, in the form of Cynthia Erivo and Joe Alwyn. To celebrate the release of this profound and affecting drama, we sat down with both talented performers, as well as the film’s director Kasi Lemmons.
Erivo discusses with us the controversy surrounding her casting as the eponymous lead role, given she’s not American, while she also comments on her experience collaborating with both Alwyn and Lemmons. She discusses the musicality of the film too, and what her go to karaoke song would be (she has an incredible voice).
Alwyn also talks about his character, and discusses with us the lack of education on slavery, and how it’s being under-taught in schools. We also manage to squeeze in a question about the forthcoming sequel to The Souvenir. Finally we spoke to Lemmons, and she explains what it was about Erivo that convinced her to take a punt and cast her in the leading role, while also commenting on the importance of this incredible story being told, and what a fine tool cinema can be in that regard.
Watch the full interviews below:
From her escape from slavery through the dangerous missions she led to liberate hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad, the story of heroic abolitionist Harriet Tubman is told.
Harriet is released in cinemas on November 22nd