Ariana DeBose: How the New "West Side Story" Propelled her Career into the Stratosphere?

Ariana DeBose: How the New “West Side Story” Propelled her Career into the Stratosphere?

The 2021 film adaptation of “West Side Story” changed the course of Ariana DeBose’s career in spectacular fashion. When director Steven Spielberg cast her as Anita, the sparklingly talented yet oft-sidelined DeBose was on the cusp of a breakthrough. However, little did she know that her nuanced, moving portrayal would resonate with audiences and critics alike in a way that would propel her to the very heights of her profession.

Through her dynamic performance, DeBose brought Anita’s unflagging perseverance, feminism, and vivacity to a vibrant new life. Audiences everywhere took her vibrant spirit and technical mastery to their hearts. As awards season unfolded following the film’s release, few could deny DeBose had arrived.

Her compassionate incarnation of the iconic role finally allowed her immense gifts to shine through and cemented her status as one of Hollywood’s brightest emerging stars. Ariana DeBose’s career soared after her Oscar-winning performance in “West Side Story,” propelling her to new heights.

Broadway Beginnings And Oscar Success

Ariana DeBose’s entry into the entertainment world began with a notable stint on “So You Think You Can Dance.” This platform served as a stepping stone for her remarkable journey into the realm of Broadway.

Her portrayal of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, marking a pivotal moment in her career. For the 2nd time in the history of the Oscars, the Academy won the honor of Best Supporting Actress, an actress, for her portrayal of Anita in “West Side Story.”

Ariana DeBose, in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical, clinched the award, reprising the show-stopping role that earned Rita Moreno the accolade 60 years ago in 1962.

During her acceptance speech, DeBose paid heartfelt tribute to Moreno, who was present in the audience, acknowledging her groundbreaking role for Latinos in Hollywood. This historic moment also marked DeBose as the first openly queer woman of color and the second Latina to win an acting Oscar.

Reflecting on her journey, DeBose emphasized the significance of representation on screen. She recounted her humble beginnings, symbolized by a little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, evolving into an openly queer woman of color and Latina finding strength in art.

In her acknowledgment of the iconic song “America” from “West Side Story,” DeBose highlighted the enduring power of dreams even in the challenging world we live in.

Backstage after the Oscar telecast, DeBose further expressed the historical significance of her win as an openly queer woman of color. She emphasized the importance of representation and the doors opened by pioneers like Rita Moreno.

The connection between DeBose and Moreno goes beyond their shared portrayal of Anita. While Moreno consciously refrained from imposing her thoughts on DeBose during the filming of “West Side Story,” the two actresses shared mutual respect and support.

DeBose’s Oscar win solidifies her status as a rising star, adding to her previous victories at the BAFTA Awards, Critics Choice Awards, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Her radiant performance in Spielberg’s “West Side Story” has propelled her from Broadway fame in productions like “Bring It On,” “Hamilton,” and “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical” to a prominent presence on the silver screen. The Oscar triumph is a testament to DeBose’s talent and the impact of her portrayal in this iconic role.

Post-Oscar Projects

Following her Oscar triumph, Ariana DeBose embraced significant roles, including her first major appearance on the big screen post-Oscar. Her versatility and talent continued to shine, captivating audiences and industry professionals alike.

DeBose’s performance as Anita in “West Side Story” garnered immense critical acclaim. Her portrayal was singled out for its show-stopping quality, showcasing her ability to bring depth and authenticity to her characters.

While her talents were acknowledged prior, “West Side Story” undeniably catapulted DeBose into a different stratosphere, solidifying her status as a prominent figure in the industry.


Ultimately, Ariana DeBose shows us that if you put your heart and soul into your craft, anything is possible. Her success story is an inspiration to all of us to embrace our true selves despite any pressures around us and take risks and chances to reach our goals.

With her upcoming roles as well as features on the small and silver screens, we can be sure she will continue to break barriers and make history of her own. Whether you’re familiar with or new to her story, it is one worth learning from. By following our dreams just like Ariana has, who knows how far we can reach!


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