Ariana DeBose wins Best Supporting Actress Oscar for ‘West Side Story’

Actress-dancer Ariana DeBose has been named Best Supporting Actress at the 94th Academy Awards for her performance in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of the iconic Broadway musical “West Side Story.”

DeBose was an early winner after winning all the major trailblazing awards in the Best Supporting Actress category, including a Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA.

Openly queer Afro-Latina, DeBose played Anita, a seamstress from San Juan Hill and the older sister of Maria (Rachel Zegler) in the film.

“To anyone who has also questioned your identity or finds themselves living in the gray spaces…I promise. There is indeed a place for us,” DeBose said in his award acceptance speech.

She thanked Spielberg for the experience working on ‘West Side Story’, joking that he was now ‘stuck’ with her.

“It was the summer of a lifetime and I’m most privileged and grateful to have spent it with all of you,” she said.

Interestingly, her victory comes six decades after Rita Moreno won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in “West Side Story,” also directed by Spielberg.

Moreno also starred in the new ‘West Side Story’ as Valentina, a revamped and expanded version of the original character Doc, who serves as a mentor to the younger characters. The Hollywood veteran also produced the film.

Expressing his gratitude to Moreno, DeBose said: ”You’re looking at me right now and I’m so grateful. Your Anita paved the way for tons of Anitas like me. And I love you so much.” The actor said his victory was a dream come true for himself younger as a little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus.

“You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who has found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate,” she added.

An adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same title, ‘West Side Story’ depicts the love story between Maria (Zegler) and Tony (Ansel Elgort), whose ill-fated romance stokes the bitter rivalry between the local New York street gangs the sharks and the jets.

The win comes full circle for DeBose, who began his career with his Broadway debut in 2011’s ‘Bring It On: The Musical’. She also appeared in other Broadway plays ”Motown: The Musical” (2013) and ”Pippin” (2014).

The actor also appeared as The Bullet in the original cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’ from 2015 to 2016. ‘West Side Story’ was also nominated in six other categories including Best Film and Best Director for Spielberg.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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