Ariana DeBose Covers MARIE CLAIRE’s ‘Ambition’ Issue

Posted on June 08, 2023


Ariana DeBose covers MARIE CLAIRE’s Ambition Issue photographed by Lelanie Foster and styled by Eliza Yerry. In the piece she opens up about being an openly queer woman voicing a Disney character, on making history as the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award for acting and her mocked BAFTA Awards performance.




On being an openly queer woman voicing a Disney character in WISH: “Even with the tumultuous times that we live in and with all the anti-LGBTQ+ hate legislation, what’s going on in Florida, they’ve stood by me,” she says of Disney. “They’ve allowed me to be a real partner in the making of this movie. If I can create a great working environment and be a part of the positive things that are going on, that makes more room for other people who look like me, who identify like me to come in and do the same.”

On making history as the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award for acting and only the second Latina ever to take home an acting Oscar: “It’s everything that I wanted. It’s everything that I had prayed for and thought maybe one day in my fifties I would experience, and then it showed up [20 years earlier]!”

On ambition: “Ambition is scary to some people, because when people see someone going after their dreams, it can be a reminder of all the things that they did not move forward to accomplish. That can create animosity and resentment, and that can feel threatening. It takes courage to be ambitious, to dare to go after what you want or believe you can achieve. And that is not for everybody. And that’s okay.”

On her mocked BAFTA Awards performance: “What I initially started out with was much simpler. It was just a list of names, to be honest.” The producers, however, wanted something showier, and, in the spirit of collaboration, Debose worked with their team and “we came up with something that was as far as I was willing to go, and that also met their needs. Lessons were learned. Every time you step out on a stage, there’s a chance it’s not going to go well for either you or for the audience for whatever reason. And it seems that that was one of those performances. You win some, you lose some.”

“I did cry once, but it was because I felt so bad that my grandmother was seeing the really horrible things that were being said that had actually nothing to do with the performance, that were just ripping me apart. That’s when I cried, because my grandmother loves me, and she doesn’t want to read that.”


[Photo Credit: Lelanie Foster]

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