According to the Harriet star during a chat in Good Morning America on Thursday, she landed her upcoming role playing the legendary Aretha Franklin in the anthology series, “Genius: Aretha,” many thanks to being asked by a reporter at the 2019 Tony Awards while making her entrance to name her guilty-pleasure song. She responded with “Ain’t No Way,” by Aretha Franklin, and sang a bit and just like they say, the rest is history.
“I was going to the Tonys and Marc from Variety asked me to sing my favorite song and my favorite song happens to be ‘Ain’t No Way,'” she said, referring to the Queen of Soul’s hit from 1968. “So I started singing a couple bars of ‘Ain’t No Way.'”
“It was filmed and that film made its way back to Brian Grazer and Clive Davis and everyone at National Geographic,” she continued, mentioning the executive producers of the series.
“I got a call maybe a couple of days after from my agent, who said that they had seen the tape and were doing this series and it was going to be Aretha and they wanted me to come on board,” she added
During the chat, Erivo also disclosed that she once even had the opportunity to meet great Franklin.
“She came to see ‘The Color Purple’ and after the show I met her, and as I was walking towards her, she sings the last line of the song I usually sing, ‘I’m Here.’ She was just really funny and sweet,” Erivo said. The actress added that she felt “elated and totally baffled and amazed that she was there” in the moment.