Ariana DeBose: Ariana DeBose’s Rise: From Broadway Dancer to Oscar Winner

HOLLYWOOD: Ariana DeBose first came to prominence as Bullet, the personification of death, in the original cast of Broadway hit ‘Hamilton.’ Now, her spirited portrayal of Anita in “West Side Story” has made her the toast of Hollywood.

The 31-year-old actress won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress on Sunday for her searing portrayal of a Puerto Rican immigrant working as a seamstress in New York trying to guide her boyfriend’s sister, Maria, through the pain of first love.

DeBose’s win for her work in Steven Spielberg’s reimagining of the classic musical comes 60 years after Rita Moreno won a gold statuette for the same role, and she praised the legendary star in an acceptance speech in tears.

“I’m so grateful, your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me,” she told Moreno, in the Dolby Theater audience.

The black, Puerto Rican-born actress celebrated her identity, describing herself as “an openly queer woman of color, Afro-Latina, who has found her life and strength in art.”

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“To anyone who has ever questioned your identity, never, never, never, or find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: there is indeed a place for us.

The Oscar win capped a dream season for DeBose, who also won a Screen Actors Guild award, a Bafta, a Critics Choice award and a Golden Globe.

She breathed new energy into the role of Anita, using her passionate dancing and delicate singing to carry the spirited character through the indignities of being an immigrant, the murder of her boyfriend Bernardo and attempted rape.

Her rendition of “America,” one of the show’s signature songs, in a bright yellow and red dress, is a highlight of the film.

“I was painfully aware that this was a beloved character, and some portrayals are considered the gold standard,” she told Vanity Fair in an interview nearing the end of the season. Oscars.

“But I knew that if I focused on that, I would fail.”

– From Great White Way to the big screen –
DeBose grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she was raised by her public school teacher mother. She trained as a dancer on the weekends, eventually working in the studio behind the desk and as an assistant to pay for her own lessons.

As a teenager, she went on hiatus, making her television debut in 2009 on the dance competition show “So You Think You Can Dance”, reaching the Top 20 before being eliminated.

DeBose then moved to New York, and roles on the Great White Way came quickly. After filming in ‘Motown: The Musical’ and a cover of ‘Pippin’, Lin-Manuel Miranda hired her to be in his blockbuster in hip-hop history ‘Hamilton’.

She was a member of the ensemble, but became known for her foreshadowing role as Bullet, ever-present when death came to call Hamilton himself and others on the show.

“OK, I’m playing an inanimate object. Great,” she told show host Jimmy Fallon. “So I started filling in the blanks and said, ‘And a death omen? Maybe she’s like death itself. “”

She joked, “No one but me knew.”

In the interview with Vanity Fair, DeBose said she knew that to be taken seriously as a triple threat – dancer, singer, actress – she would have to “come in and sing as well as the singers who move.”

“On top of that, I had to try to be better than them because I’m a woman of color,” she added.

DeBose went on to earn a Tony Award nomination for playing “Disco Donna” in the musical “Summer” about the life of Donna Summer.

– ‘Dazzle’ –

After appearing in Netflix’s film adaptation of the musical “The Prom” alongside Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep, DeBose landed the role of Anita. Tony Kushner, who wrote the screenplay, said he knew she was right from minute one.

Singing a lyric from “America” ​​about crying babies and flying balls, she “sounded haunted, scared, and grief-stricken, all in the space of that little line. And then turned on the ‘glare,” Kushner told Vanity Fair.

Once the film aired worldwide in December, DeBose was an instant Oscar favorite and in high demand, hosting America’s venerable comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” in January.

She said she loved filling the formidable shoes of Moreno – who took on a new role in Spielberg’s film – and relished the opportunity to introduce an Afro-Latina version of the character.

Moreno’s skin was notoriously darkened for the 1961 film.

“She showed us there was a possibility of success,” DeBose said.
AFP in December, referring to Moreno.

“For my character in particular, now young Afro-Latinas finally see themselves as a main character in the context of this story.”

Oscars 2022: Most memorable moments from the 94th Academy Awards

Oscars 2022: Most memorable moments from the 94th Academy Awards

The 2022 Oscars in-person awards show has returned after two years of silence due to the pandemic. Here are some of the most memorable and shocking moments from the 94th Academy Awards.

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