- BBC News World
“Imagine this girl in the backseat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, a queer woman of color, openly queer and Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I think we’re here to celebrate.”
This is how Ariana DeBose began her speech, who won the Oscar for supporting actress for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s new version of the classic musical West Side Story.
The 31-year-old American actress became this Sunday the first openly black woman queerto win an Academy Award.
Referencing the musical’s hit song, he added: “To anyone who has ever questioned his identityor have you ever found yourself living in the gray spaces, I assure you that there is indeed a place for us.”
“Dreams do come true,” he added.
A relative newcomer to feature films, DeBose won praise for her spirited portrayal of Anita, an outspoken Puerto Rican woman, who showcases her singing and dancing talents in the song. America.
He also won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a British Academy Film Award for his performance.
DeBose trained in dance and had roles in productions of Broadway What hamilton and Summer: The Donna Summer Musicalbefore appearing in the Netflix television musical The Prom like a cheerleader struggling to come out of the closet.
DeBose is Afro-Latino and openly queer. “I am America“, he told OUT magazine in November. “I’m a member of almost every marginalized community.”
This is the second time someone has won an Oscar for the role of Anita. Rita Moreno became the first Latina actress to win it for playing the character in the 1962 version of West Side Story.
Brown90, joined the new version of Spielberg as pharmacy owner Valentina, a new character written especially for her.
DeBose prevailed over the other award nominees, Kirsten Dunst for the Power of the DogAunjanue Ellis by king richardJudi Dench for “Belfast” and Jessie Buckley for “The Dark Daughter” (The Lost Daughter).
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