27th Annual Critics Choice Awards - Press Room©GettyImages

Ariana DeBose wins Critics Choice Award and honors Rita Moreno

The Afro-Latina won in the best supporting actress category for her stunning performance as Anita

Ariana DeBose is unstoppable! The Afro-Latina won in the best supporting actress category at the 2022 Critics Choice Awards for her stunning performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

“Wow, this is wild. I wrote some things down, and yet my phone is over there. That’s unfortunate,” she joked during her acceptance speech. The 31-year-old actress honored Rita Moreno, also nominated, for bringing Anita to life in the original 1961 film.

West Side Story©Courtesy of AMPAS
Rita Moreno in the original ‘West Side Story’ and Ariana DeBose in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’

“To my fellow nominees: You are all so stinking glorious, and I love you so much. You inspire me, and especially one fellow nominee, the great Rita Moreno,” DeBose said. “Seriously, you made space for me to thrive beside you — I am not in front of you, I am not behind you, I am beside you. And that is the greatest gift you could’ve ever given me.”

27th Annual Critics Choice Awards London Event - Winners Room©GettyImages
Ariana DeBose, winner of Best Supporting Actress for “West Side Story,” poses in the Winners Room at the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards at The Savoy on March 13, 2022 in London, United Kingdom.

Ariana sent encouraging words to all the youth watching at home. “Last thing I’m gonna say, because you never know who’s watching, to all young people,” DeBose added, “doesn’t matter how you identify or who you are, you are unique, you are talented, you are seen, you are valued, you are loved, and you matter. Please don’t ever forget that.”

DeBose Critics Choice Award win comes after taking home the 2022 SAG Awards and 2022 BAFTA Awards for the same performance in the same category. The proud queer Latina is nominated for a 2022 Oscar in the Best Supporting Actress category.

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