Cynthia Erivo says British actors are colder and more competitive than in US

By Craig Simpson, Press Association
The star made her name on Broadway.

British actress and singer Cynthia Erivo has said cold and competitive UK Bafta actors can learn from their US counterparts.

Following Erivo’s move to Broadway she found a camaraderie and support which she said was absent on the London stage.

The Tony and Grammy Award-winning star has said that the British acting scene is more competitive and less welcoming than in the US.

Erivo, vocalist and star of Steve McQueen film Widows, has said hopeful American actors are more generous with their time and support.

Speaking at a Bafta talk in London, she said: “It was very different to what I experienced here.

“There is just a community of people that are wanting to welcome you.  People are trying to help each other.

“We’re colder.  We continue to think of ourselves as competition.  We forget that we’re all in the same boat.

“We would serve ourselves better here if we remembered to serve each other.  We don’t do that here, it’s not give and take here.  Constantly seeing each other as competition.”

The star, who has recently played abolitionist Harriet Tubman, was delighted with the welcome she received in the US

She triumphed on the Broadway stage when she arrived in 2015, but the decision to cross the Atlantic was not an easy one.

Erivo was offered a career-changing opportunity in The Color Purple in New York, but found herself grounded by tears and terror.

Erivo said she cried constantly at the thought of leaving her family, and was close to refusing the life-changing offer.

She said: “There was a 50/50 chance whether I got on the flight.

“I was really, really frightened about leaving my family behind, leaving what I knew here behind.  I just cried for hours.  For hours before I got on the plane I was crying and crying.

“Getting there took a courage that I didn’t know that I had.”

Erivo won the Tony Award for best actress in a musical for her role in The Color Purple after making the move.