Crime Pays
Empire Australasia|September 2018

How Broadway star Cynthia Erivo landed one of the most buzzed-about film roles of the year in period-thriller Bad Times At The El Royale.

Terri White

CYNTHIA ERIVO WAS already having quite the year when the script arrived. She was on the set of Steve McQueen thriller Widows — her first feature film — when she received the sides. Reading hungrily, Erivo was immediately moved by what was on the page. “I was really taken by all the twists and turns,” she tells Empire. “I thought it was a really special piece.”

There was just one snag: filmmakers were seeing several actors. And specifically, some very big names. But what Erivo lacked in a rich film CV, she made up for in one vital element: the singing. And that’s what the role demanded specifically: an actor who could sing live during filming, with director Drew Goddard determined to add nothing in the edit.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM EMPIRE AUSTRALASIAView All

Out Of The Cage

From the ashes of Suicide Squad has risen something fresh, bold and exciting: birds of prey. Inside the first-ever female-ensemble superhero film

9 mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

The Master Of Suspense

With a string of dazzling, high-concept thrillers, bong joon ho has drawn comparisons to hitchcock. But his films also have a strong social message, and his latest, parasite, is no exception

10 mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

Wonder Woman Swings Into The '80s

Director Patty Jenkins on setting Diana Prince loose in the era of excess

3 mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

The Many Parts Of Martin Lawrence

As the comedian makes a bigscreen comeback, he talks us through his greatest roles

4 mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

HIS NUMBER'S UP

AFTER 14 YEARS, THE LONGEST TENURE OF ANY BOND, DANIEL CRAIG IS ABOUT TO HANG UP HIS MARTINI GLASS AND WALTHER PPK. EMPIRE TRACKS 007 ACROSS THE GLOBE, FROM LONDON TO JAMAICA AND NEW YORK, TO BRING YOU THE ULTIMATE INTEL ON NO TIME TO DIE. AND HIS EMOTIONAL FAREWELL...

10+ mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

THE FALL GUYS

In 2011, Zack Stentz and Ashley Edward Miller were the hottest new screenwriting team in Hollywood. Then they disappeared. Eight years later, they tell EMPIRE their cautionary tale; revealing the tough reality of a writer's life Hollywood

10+ mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

Buddy Hell

The last blockbuster to be released in the 1980s, Tango & Cash seemed like a no-brainer: a buddy-cop team-up for two of Hollywood’s biggest stars. But it didn’t take long for the wheels to spectacularly come off

10+ mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

BLAZING a TRAIL

Queen & Slim IS A ROAD MOVIE, A TENDER ROMANCE AND AN UNFLINCHING LOOK AT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BLACK IN 21ST CENTURY AMERICA. EMPIRE ASSEMBLES ITS WRITER, DIRECTOR AND TWO STARS FOR A FRANK, FREEWHEELING CONVERSATION ABOUT WHY IT NEEDED TO BE MADE

10+ mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

BATTLE PLANS

HOW SAM MENDES AND TEAM TURNED WORLD WAR I DRAMA 1917INTO A REAL-TIME, ONE-TAKE WONDER

10+ mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020

An Oscar-winning director. The world's biggest pop star. A classic West End musical. Judi Dench with a tail. The biggest gamble of the year

Ever since the trailer dropped the world has been mesmerized by Cats. We journey deep inside the maddest, milkiest film of 2019

10 mins read
Empire Australasia
January 2020
RELATED STORIES

Screen Saver

As the lost hiker grew desperate, a stranger with an unusual pastime was trying to rescue him

3 mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2021

NIGHT TERROR

In the middle of the night, as most of the tenants slept, much of a 12-story Florida condominium collapsed, killing scores and sending survivors fleeing for their lives. But amid the rubble and dust, eroes appeared as neighbor reached out to neighbor.

10 mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2021

How I Learned to Make Friends Again

It used to be so easy. Then life got in the way.

7 mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2021

My Most Unforgettable Road Trip

There’s lots to remember while driving cross-country: Buckle up, use your blinker, check your mirrors. But the No. 1 rule of the road? As our readers will tell you, have some fun along the way!

5 mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2021

DELETE YOUR INTERNET FOOTPRINT

With spies lurking everywhere, how can you keep yourself safe? Here are 25 smart steps, from the editor of HowtoGeek.com.

10+ mins read
Reader's Digest US
November 2021

Jonathan Franzen Finally Stopped Trying Too Hard

At last he put aside the pyrotechnics and went all in on his great theme: the American family.

10 mins read
The Atlantic
November 2021

Several People Are Typing

Slack made it easier to crack jokes and easier to stir up trouble. Employees love it. Bosses don’t.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
November 2021

In Defense of the Insufferable Music Fan

What we lose when we “like everything”

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
November 2021

THE MEN WHO ARE KILLING AMERICAN'S NEWSPAPERS

INSIDE ALDEN GLOBAL CAPITAL, THE SECRETIVE HEDGE FUND GUTTING NEWSROOMS AND DAMAGING DEMOCRACY

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
November 2021

FACEBOOKLAND

The social giant isn’t just acting like an authoritarian power. It is one.

10 mins read
The Atlantic
November 2021