Freedom Is Not Free!
MONARCH MAGAZINE|Fall 2019: Style Issue
It requires sacrifice, fortitude, courage, and love

Monarch had the pleasure of sitting down with two of the stars of upcoming film HARRIET, Cynthia Erivo & Leslie Odom Jr., to discuss the responsibility and care that went into portraying the iconic figure, as well as their thoughts on the real-life HARRIET TUBMAN’s fight for freedom and justice!

MONARCH: How did you get involved with the film HARRIET?

CYNTHIA ERIVO: Debra Martin Chase and Daniela Taplin Lundberg came to see me in The Color Purple on Broadway (I didn’t know they were in the audience). I met with Debra the following day. She told me about the script and asked if I would consider doing the role.

LESLIE ODOM Jr: My friend Cynthia Erivo asked me to read the script. A short time later I sat down with Debra Martin-Chase. She also mentioned there was interest in me for the role of William. I’m so glad it was me that they chose.

MONARCH: These are major historic portrayals. Were you intimidated by the prospect of playing these characters?

CYNTHIA ERIVO: No. I was excited and honored and felt a responsibility to tell the story the best way possible.

LESLIE ODOM Jr: Of course. But the task before me obviously pales in comparison to the obstacles our real-life superheroes faced. All I had to do was be “brave” enough to open and my mouth and extol the hard-won victories of Ms. Tubman and Mr. Still.

MONARCH: How did the two of you prepare for your roles?

CYNTHIA ERIVO: Extensive research, physical training, and constant conversation with Kasi [director Kasi Lemmons].

LESLIE ODOM Jr: I read everything I could get my hands on before I was called to set. I continued to read even after we wrapped it. William was prolific in his writing.

MONARCH: How much did you know about Harriet Tubman going into the project?

CYNTHIA ERIVO: I knew as much as most people know—the broad strokes but not the details.

MONARCH: How much did you know about William Still before this project?

LESLIE ODOM Jr: Coming from Philadelphia, where William did the majority of his most legendary work with UGRR, I knew the bold points of his life. I had never made the time to look deeper than that. Learning the history of his family was a real gift to me in the project. Feels somehow personal to me now. William’s mother and father, his siblings—their stories will be with me always. I will recount them to my children.

MONARCH: Stories such as Harriet’s possess so much pain, beauty, and strength within them. Was it hard to let go of your characters once the film was completed?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MONARCH MAGAZINEView All

Impactful Insight

Political researcher and partner at HIT Strategies

4 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

Perfect Ending

Smoking a Davidoff or any fine cigar is the ideal way to finish dinner or the day

6 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

Three Decades Of Distinction

The Phantom does not represent the first time that a Rolls-Royce designer took a risk.

1 min read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

Freedom Is Not Free!

It requires sacrifice, fortitude, courage, and love

6 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

Brioni A Badge Of Success

CEO Umberto Angeloni understands Brioni’s connoisseur clientele like no one else.

4 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

A Conversation With The Guru Of Style - Lloyd Boston

For twenty years, America has known TV host and style expert Lloyd Boston best from top shows such as The Insider (CBS), the popular companion show to the Emmy-winning Entertainment Tonight.

9 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2019: Style Issue

Let The Old Times Roll

Retro is back again—or, more likely, its attractions never went away. The most cherished, popular, and in-demand watches are still reintroductions of models that first appeared as long ago as 1904, when Cartier designed the Santos.

6 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2017

Martha's Vineyard: 'The Ultimate Lifestyle Experience'

Martha's Vineyard: 'The Ultimate Lifestyle Experience'

3 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2017

Kandi's Reign

Kandi Burruss - Tucker the Candy-coated Mogul

10+ mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Fall 2017

Katherine Johnson

The 1957 launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik changed history—and Katherine Johnson’s life.

3 mins read
MONARCH MAGAZINE
Winter Issue: NEW EDITION
RELATED STORIES

WILLIAM POWELL - A Lifetime of HEARTBREAK

THE STAR OF THE THIN MAN MOVIES ENDURED TERRIBLE MISFORTUNE ON HIS WAY TO LASTING HAPPINESS

2 mins read
Closer US
August 15, 2022

Kate & William COMING TO AMERICA!

Conquering the United States is next on Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal to-do list

2 mins read
Life & Style US
August 15, 2022

ELIZABETH TAYLOR - The Truth About Her FIRST LOVE

AT 17, THE ACTRESS FELT CERTAIN THAT SHE HAD FOUND HER SOULMATE AND WAS READY TO GIVE UP ON HOLLYWOOD TO BECOME A WIFE AND MOTHER

2 mins read
Closer US
July 04, 2022

THE CAMBRIDGE FAMILY Our FRESH START

THE COUPLE ARE LEAVING LONDON TO FORGE A NEW LIFE WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY

2 mins read
Closer US
July 11, 2022

William TURNS 40!

On his birthday, Prince William opens up about lessons he's learned and his plans for the future

4 mins read
inTouch
July 04, 2022

WILLIAM TURNS 40!

With his milestone birthday in the books, Prince William makes big plans for the future

2 mins read
Life & Style US
July 11, 2022

THE QUEEN'S Emotional Goodbye

As she celebrates 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II gathers her entire family together for one last time

4 mins read
inTouch
June 20, 2022

CLINTON'S HUNT FOR CAPTURED ALIENS!

Sent White House investigators to Area 51 & found shocking truth

3 mins read
Globe US
July 11, 2022

AND STEP ON IT

I have a ritual when I travel anywhere, for any reason: I get a perfume that I've never worn before, spritz it on in the cab to the airport, and then never wear it again unless I want to conjure the trip.

2 mins read
Town & Country US
Summer 2022

Magnet for Miners

A tour of Western Montana is rich in mining heritage, ghost towns and living history centers.

3 mins read
True West
July - August 2022