Golden Globe Winner Ariana DeBose Embraces Queer Identity and Broadway Roots on 'SNL'

Monday January 17, 2022

The "West Side Story" break-out star and Golden Globe winner Ariana DeBose celebrated her professional and personal life when hosting "Saturday Night Live" this past weekend.

In one skit, the queer-identified, Tony-nominated actress played a potential nanny for the Trapp Family children in a take-off of "The Sound of Music" in which she hilariously mangled the lyrics to "Do, Re, Mi," much to the chagrin of the real Maria (played by Kate McKinnon), reports The Grio.

In a nod to her out status, DeBose joined McKinnon for a skit that parodied lesbian academics. "The pair returned later in the episode to parody two Cornell University lecturers claiming to have found poetry scrolls written by the ancient Greek poet Sappho, who was native to the island of Lesbos and became known for her poems about women," adds the Grio.

To top it off, DuBose and McKinnon started the show with a medley from "West Side Story." DeBose was recently nominated for a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role and is short-listed for an Oscar nom by where she is in second place behind Kirsten Dunst ("The Power of the Dog") If she wins, she would be the second actress to win the Supporting Actress award for playing the role of Anita. Rita Moreno won in 1961, but her competition includes Moreno, who is also in the running for her performance in Steven Spielberg's remake.

"Now, not many people know this, but 'West Side Story' is actually based on another classic tale of star-crossed lovers — '90 Day Fiancé,'" DeBose joked at the start of her opening monologue, before shouting out her mixed Black and Latino heritage.

"It is great to be here representing not only the Latino community as an Afro-Latina but also the Broadway community," the actress said. "Obviously, Broadway has been through a lot these last past couple of years ... but we are a community that perseveres."

DuBose recently spoke to Variety about "West Side Story" and her "SNL" gig.

"To have the opportunity to create work like this, to play this iconic role, to work with Steven Spielberg and our incredible creative team, and then to have the work received in this way, it's more than I ever thought I would actually achieve," she said. "It is wildly overwhelming and wonderful."

As for "SNL," she said: "I'm doing what I love, which is being absolutely, ridiculously stupid."