Cynthia Erivo on Being the Only Black Actress Nominated for an Oscar This Year (Exclusive)

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Cynthia Erivo is still processing her two Oscar nominations for the Harriet Tubman biopic, Harriet.

ET spoke with Erivo at Alfre Woodard's annual pre-Oscars Sistahs Soiree on Wednesday held at the private residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx, in the Hollywood Hills, where she talked about her Best Actress nomination and also getting to sing her Oscar-nominated song from the movie, "Stand Up," on the big stage on Sunday.

"Before the nominations, before all of that, the dream was to perform on the Oscar stage, to like, to sing," she reveals to ET's Kevin Frazier. "And so to be able to do that with my own song is like ... it's been a lot. I mean, loads of firsts, all at once, it's just like, trying to process it all and be present for it all and I'm enjoying it because I get to do the thing I love the most, and I get to do it a lot now, which is beyond."

However, she did call her Best Actress nomination "bittersweet" given she is the only woman of color nominated in an acting category this year.

"It's bittersweet, and I really want people to see it and think, 'You know, this, this doesn't look right. This doesn't feel right,' and I want ... look at us. I want us to be celebrated, I want us to, because we work hard all year long, and we put good work out, and there's beautiful pictures that we make and there's beautiful stories that we tell, and those deserve celebration as well. So, we should be able to be there too."

The 33-year-old British actress later talked about playing such iconic women throughout her career, which aside from Harriet Tubman, includes Aretha Franklin. Erivo is playing the late singer in the National Geographic's highly anticipated TV series, Genius: Aretha, which premieres in May.

"Well, here's the thing, more than the fact that they're iconic, their stories are unheard, their stories are complex, their stories are full, their hearts beat right within the middle of it, and that's the thing that I'm really honored to be able to do, bring these women back to life and give it to people again," she notes. "Tell their stories again."

When asked if viewers were ready to see her take on Aretha, Erivo says, "Well, I don't know if they're ready. I mean, I don't, I hope that they're, not ready, but willing to see what I can bring."

Most of all, she is excited to bring the legendary singer's life story to the forefront.

"She had a lot going on," Erivo says. "The emotional trials and tribulations that she had to go through is unbelievable, and hopefully we get to crack into some of that and share it with you and let you see that this was a woman who was successful beyond the means that she had."

As for attending Woodard's annual Sistahs Soiree, Erivo said Woodard's support has meant a lot to her. Woodard started the event 11 years ago to celebrate women of color who have been nominated for an acting Oscar.

"I've been coming for two or three years now, and Alfre always, like, I feel like she's, like, enveloped me under her wing, and I feel really special," she says. "Because it's enough to be in the room without being an honoree, just to feel how much people love each other and want to take care of each other and are supporting each other. But to be here like this, feels like, I don't know, I just -- it's cool."

For more on Erivo's incredible awards season run, watch the video below:

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