CynthiaErivo

“A couple of years ago, I went to Heidi Klum's Halloween party as an avatar. I was blue. Head to toe, blue,” says singer, actress and songwriter Cynthia Erivo in her Screen Tests interview with Lynn Hirschberg. “At the end of the evening, trying to get that off—it looked like I killed a smurf.”

Erivo, nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Actress and Best Original Song) for her role in Harriet, says she wanted to honor Harriet Tubman in the most authentic way with her performance: “I wanted to make sure that whatever singing I did was true to Harriet,” she says.

The Grammy and Tony award-winner also shares the fact that she had a childhood crush on Elvis, and that the best advice she ever got came from Oprah. “She said, ‘You don't have to say yes to everything.’ And that has always stuck with me,” Erivo tells Hirschberg. “So you pick the things that you can really commit to and, and make sure you don't exhaust yourself with the things you can't.”