Arianna Debose left the Oscar Award’s a proud woman after winning Best Supporting Actress for her role in West Side Story-becoming the first Afro-latina and openly queer actress to win an acting Oscar.
In the press room interview at the 94th annual Oscar Award’s “West Side Story” actress reflects back to her early career on Broadway 12 years ago. She equates her success and accomplishments to her determination, and the active choice to take her rejections as redirections.
“choosing myself and choosing to believe that I was worthy and the willingness to humble myself and do the work, that’s how this happened. Debose said.
She shares her experience ensemble of Hamilton saying he she had a role that barely spoke and danced, but still showed up for herself.
“But I chose at some point to try for more and, to be frank, it wasn’t met with, you know, thunderous applause. Some folks kind of looked at me like I was crazy, and I had to choose to believe that I was deserving of more and go and train to be better. And, honestly, just choosing — choosing myself and choosing to believe that I was worthy and the willingness to humble myself and do the work, that’s how this happened. This is magic, but it’s magic that did not come without effort, yeah.”
I’m an openly queer woman of color, and I think that just proves that there’s space. There’s space for us, and it’s a beautiful moment to be seen, and I’m really honored by that.”
Debose making Oscar history is a direct reflection of working hard to see yourself, despite the rejection one may experience.