Cynthia Erivo Details the Deeper Meaning Behind Roar's "Horror"-like Episode

Cynthia Erivo spoke to E! News about the serious messages that inspired her role in Apple TV+'s Roar, as well as the upcoming movie Wicked.

By Cydney Contreras Apr 15, 2022 10:00 PMTags
Watch: Cynthia Erivo Dishes on Roar & Upcoming Wicked Project

At first glance, Roar's "The Woman Who Found Bite Marks on Her Skin" is a thriller about a mysterious ailment. But as the episode unfolds, it becomes clear that there's something else eating at Ambia.

As Cynthia Erivo told E! News, her episode of the Apple TV+ anthology series explores the guilt that women feel when trying to balance motherhood, a career and even their own relationships. "To turn something that is usually a conversation into a reality, into a physical manifestation, it's a really clever thing to do," she explained. "I think that most people can understand that, even if you aren't a mother or a parent."

She noted that the use of "fantasy [and] horror" emphasizes how deeply this impacts women, saying that people sometimes forget "mothers are still human beings." 

"They still need space to let loose and they still need moments where they can just be themselves and not mother," Cynthia said, before acknowledging the difficulty of relinquishing those responsibilities for even an hour. "When mothers sometimes give themselves a chance to do that, it can sometimes lead to guilt for not being there for something or for missing something."

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Having been raised by a single mother, Cynthia understands the pressures women face and wants the episode to offer comfort. "I hope that women are encouraged to not feel guilty for wanting to be successful businesswomen and wanting to be mothers," she said. "Both things can be true of one person."

Apple TV+

She continued, "I think sometimes we are very hard on women who want to have a very successful work life. We sometimes make them have to sacrifice one for the other, but I don't believe that you do have to do that. I think you can be a mother and you can be really successful as a businessperson. You can be successful in whatever business you choose to embark on."

This doesn't just apply to mothers either. Cynthia said that not everybody needs to choose the "traditional" path, "and that's also okay."

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Cynthia's episode of Roar coincidentally mirrors her upcoming role as Elphaba in the movie adaptation of Wicked, also starring Ariana Grande. The musical, which is based on the book by Gregory Maguire, is on the surface a retelling of The Wizard of Oz's iconic witches but actually represents something deeper. "[Wicked] sort of tells you that everything happens for a reason," said Cynthia. "There is a reason why people are the way they are, there is a reason why people behave the way they behave and sometimes we don't really know the whole story."

And while Cynthia hopes that viewers enjoy the film, she added, "Hopefully, when we do it they'll get a lot from it and anyone who feels like they're different or they don't fit in, I hope that they know that that isn't a bad thing. That not fitting in and being different is actually kind of wonderful."

Roar is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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