Cynthia Erivo advised by mother for Drift

Cynthia Erivo’s mother was her “biggest resource” when she was preparing for ‘Drift’.

The 37-year-old actress plays Jacqueline, a woman striving to survive on a Greek island after fleeing the Liberian civil war, and she turned to her mom Edith – who was displaced at the age of 15 during Nigeria’s Biafran War in the 1960s – to find a connection with her character.

She told Empire magazine: “I used her as my biggest resource.

“She would talk about the fear she felt, about how she and her siblings didn’t know if they would be able to find food or shelter at any time.”

And during the shoot, Cynthia forced herself to feel as uncomfortable as Jacqueline would have done.

She said:” At night, you let the cold, the dark, the wind and the sounds affect you so you can do something that’s completely truthful.

“When you’re cold, your muscles tense up, you can’t necessarily think straight – and you use those things to your advantage.”

The character’s wardrobe consists largely of a denim skirt and a few t-shirts, with costume designer Matina Mavraganni deliberately choosing faded shades of blue to help blend her into the background.

Cynthia said:” The blue is also reminiscent of water, of where she is – there’s an unattachedness that blue has and I wanted that for her.

“It’s not a colour that screams, ‘This is me.’ There’s no statement in it, necessarily.

“It’s something she can disappear in.”

Before filming, Cynthia would go on a run and listen to a playlist that offered her a “sense of release” from the tension her character carried, but the tracks – including Mykal Kilgore’s ‘Let Me Go’, Tracy Chapman’s ‘Remember The Tinman’ and ‘My Mind’ by YEBBA – all had significance to the project.

The actress explained: “A lot of those songs are about our relationship to memory and about particular people too.

“Those themes are what Jacqueline is consistently fighting against and fighting through: The loss of something, the memory of something and trying to make the connection between all of it.”

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Cynthia Erivo advised by mother for Drift