“The proposal is to see physically what we experience emotionally”

In Roar , the new miniseries that Apple TV + premieres next Friday and that has been created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, eight unit stories are presented with a common theme: the female experience through a fantastic gaze, which sometimes leans to the magical realism and others to psychological terror. With a spectacular cast including Nicole Kidman, Issa Rae, Alison Brie, Judy Davis, Hugh Dancy and Alfred Molina, among others, its fourth installment stars the British actress Cynthia Erivo, nominated for an Oscar for Harriet two years ago in two categories that reflect her talents: actress and original song. The episode, titled The woman who found bite marks on her skin presents her as a successful executive who has just given birth and who struggles to find her place both in the office and at home, until a strange situation forces her to relax.

What attracted you to the series?

The possibility of capturing on the screen metaphorical ideas, which are usually talked about, giving them a physical manifestation that allows us to see what we are really talking about. The proposal of Roar it is being able to physically see what we are experiencing emotionally, to see how ridiculous those things are when we develop them in real life, and how when seen concretely they are strange and wild. I hope that after watching the series people will want to continue talking about the essence of some of these conversations. I just wanted to be a part of something that was going to help stimulate discussion, so that people could see certain things in a different way.

And what interested you about your character?

The truth is that I had never been given the opportunity to play someone who has a sense of humor as powerful as hers, which is as if it runs through her veins. There is something about Ambia that is somewhat quirky, also very funny, but at the same time she is a woman who has her feet on the ground. Also, being able to play someone who spoke with my own accent was very welcome, because I’m rarely allowed to speak with my British accent. On the other hand, I loved the story because through it I was able to explore the situation of black mothers in the workplace, something that is rarely explored in film or television, and yet in the episode I star in you can see up to the smallest details of such a situation, from the moment she is giving birth and the doctor does not pay attention to her or her needs. And when we talk about the mortality rates of black women during childbirth, we can explore that experience from the first moment of the chapter. That seemed unusual and truly wonderful to me, showing what it is like for women to go through those moments, which I insist, are rarely seen on screen. That’s why when they proposed this project to me it didn’t take me long to say yes, please include me, that I loved the idea of ​​being able to participate. When it came time to prepare my role, they were very nice to me, allowing me to raise my hand and make suggestions, like Rashida Jones directing the episode, because I was sure she was going to do well. She is amazing, especially when it comes to visuals. She loved the wardrobe selection of hers, the fashions that she wears of hers, and how she put it all together to create the world that the story takes place in. I was very lucky to be invited to be part of Roar .

The official synopsis describes the series as a succession of feminist fables with a touch of black humor. How do you feel that applies to your episode?

I think that is an excellent description. I have no doubt that it is a feminist fable with a touch of black humor, because it is the exploration of a woman who is trying to figure out how to deal with motherhood, seeking a balance between her home life and her work responsibilities, while being able to handle this situation that is taking over her. In addition, he must deal with the guilt he feels towards her when she cannot live up to what is expected of her in either of these two worlds. Essentially you see the physical manifestation of what is happening to him.

Do you think this is an everyday situation?

I think there are many women who have to deal with that and survive the guilt of not being able to do everything at the same time, when the truth is that nobody should have to take care of so many things at once. Our episode shows that it is a very common situation for women in this world we live in.

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