Ariana DeBose reveals she originally turned down the audition for her Oscar-winning role in West Side Story as she appears on The Jonathan Ross Show Christmas special

Ariana DeBose revealed she originally turned down her famous Oscar-winning role for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show Christmas special.

The Academy Award-winner, 32, joined the star-studded sofa alongside the likes of Willem Dafoe, Katherine Jenkins, Kevin Bridges, Romesh Ranganathan, Boy George and surprise guest Claudia Schiffer.

‘I turned down that audition a couple of different times before I went in. I was scared. I was on Broadway at the time, I was playing Donna Summer and I was very committed to that show,’ she said.

‘I didn’t feel like I had enough proper time to prepare. Granted they called 24-hours before they wanted me to audition… I was like, “Dude, I just want to be prepared.” So I said, “No, I’m not going to read the scenes for you today.” And he was like, “What?” 

‘I was like, “I’m not going to read today but I’ll come back if you would like me to?” He was like, “I’d like you to”.’

The actress contninued: ‘I don’t know if I’d have the courage to do that today, but it worked in the moment. I don’t know what I was thinking actually, but it all worked out.’

Ariana DeBose, 32, revealed she originally turned down her famous Oscar-winning role for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show Christmas special

She said: 'I turned down that audition a couple of different times before I went in. I was scared. I was on Broadway at the time, I was playing Donna Summer and I was very committed to that show'

She said: ‘I turned down that audition a couple of different times before I went in. I was scared. I was on Broadway at the time, I was playing Donna Summer and I was very committed to that show’

The Hamilton star also recalled the moment her mum came on the set of West Side Story and met legendary filmmaker Steven, 77, and said: ‘My mum just stared at him. My mum is never at a loss for words. 

‘She was like, ”Sir I think I’m a bit starstruck so maybe I should just leave.” He was so great with her and held her hand. She got to sit next to him. It was a pinch me moment.’

The Golden Globe winner only had kind words for her mother, as she remembered bringing her as her date to the Oscars.  

‘She [my mum] was my date [to the Oscars]. She hobnobbed with everyone. It’s the weirdest thing, you’re in a room full of all of those amazing people. Thank god mum was there to keep me grounded so I didn’t like, float away. Then they say your name… it was so great to share that with her.’

Later on, The Prom star discussed the rap she did at the BAFTAs earlier in February this year: ‘I was kind of recovering from walking pneumonia. I kind of was [really ill]. But I’m a theatre kid, ‘the show must go on’ sort of thing. 

‘We’d gone down the road for so long. I didn’t have the heart to back out and I had been deemed well enough to continue to work. 

‘I wasn’t going to go on and make anyone sick, it’s a room full of very famous and talented people, so not to be irresponsible by any stretch of the mind but I really wanted to go and support the folks and we were trying something new and what I do is typically high energy and you know, hindsight is 20/20.

‘Maybe recovering from walking pneumonia is not the time to be in six inch heels and a big fat pink skirt and jump off a chair and try and rap at the same time, it’s OK… live performance that’s what it’s all about,’ she added.

The Academy Award-winner joined the star-studded sofa alongside the likes of Willem Dafoe, Katherine Jenkins, Kevin Bridges, Romesh Ranganathan, Boy George and surprise guest Claudia Schiffer

The Academy Award-winner joined the star-studded sofa alongside the likes of Willem Dafoe, Katherine Jenkins, Kevin Bridges, Romesh Ranganathan, Boy George and surprise guest Claudia Schiffer

The Hamilton star also recalled the moment her mum came on the set of West Side Story and met legendary filmmaker Steven, 77, and said: 'My mum just stared at him. My mum is never at a loss for words

The Hamilton star also recalled the moment her mum came on the set of West Side Story and met legendary filmmaker Steven, 77, and said: ‘My mum just stared at him. My mum is never at a loss for words

'She [my mum] was my date [to the Oscars]. She hobnobbed with everyone. It's the weirdest thing, you're in a room full of all of those amazing people. Thank god mum was there to keep me grounded so I didn't like, float away. Then they say your name… it was so great to share that with her,' Ariana said candidly

‘She [my mum] was my date [to the Oscars]. She hobnobbed with everyone. It’s the weirdest thing, you’re in a room full of all of those amazing people. Thank god mum was there to keep me grounded so I didn’t like, float away. Then they say your name… it was so great to share that with her,’ Ariana said candidly

Later on, The Prom star discussed the rap she did at the Baftas earlier in February this year: 'I was kind of recovering from walking pneumonia. I kind of was [really ill]. But I'm a theatre kid, 'the show must go on' sort of thing

Later on, The Prom star discussed the rap she did at the Baftas earlier in February this year: ‘I was kind of recovering from walking pneumonia. I kind of was [really ill]. But I’m a theatre kid, ‘the show must go on’ sort of thing

Ariana pictured collecting her Academy Award in March 2022

Ariana pictured collecting her Academy Award in March 2022

Ariana also discussed starring in new film Argylle which stars Chip the cat - who belongs to director Matthew Vaughn's wife and supermodel Claudia Schiffer, 53, who brought the pet to the sofa (pictured)

Ariana also discussed starring in new film Argylle which stars Chip the cat – who belongs to director Matthew Vaughn’s wife and supermodel Claudia Schiffer, 53, who brought the pet to the sofa (pictured)

The actress added: ‘It’s live, it’s not going to sound like an album. That’s what you want to see. You actually want to see people mess up because you know they’re alive. I think it’s special that way, but that’s just my personal view.’

Ariana also discussed starring in new film Argylle which stars Chip the cat – who belongs to director Matthew Vaughn’s wife and supermodel Claudia Schiffer. 

As a surprise Claudia, 53, brings Chip out onto the sofa, as Jonathan hugs him and he meows, the fashion icon said: ‘He can be grumpy.’

‘We had another cat on the film, he’s not a very good actor. He was terrible. He was also very expensive. So my husband, Matthew, the director, he asked if he could have my cat. I said, ‘Why not, he could be a nepo cat’ and here we are.’

The German supermodel added: ‘We’re working on a spin-off right now.’

Ariana didn’t miss a chance to showcase her stage skills as she also performed alongside Boy George during the episode.

For her stunning appearance, the Seaside star displayed her toned figure in a strapless sequinned mini dress.

Ariana performed alongside Boy George during the episode

Ariana performed alongside Boy George during the episode

Ariana didn't miss a chance to showcase her vocals and stage skills

Ariana didn’t miss a chance to showcase her vocals and stage skills 

The dazzling number boosted her lithe physique as it displayed an eye-catching blue on her bust, fading into a sparkling silver on her skirt

She toted her show-stopping look with strappy silver heels, while matching her dress with a blue smokey eyes

The dazzling number boosted her lithe physique as it displayed an eye-catching blue on her bust, fading into a sparkling silver on her skirt

The dazzling number boosted her lithe physique as it displayed an eye-catching blue on her bust, fading into a sparkling silver on her skirt.

She toted her show-stopping look with strappy silver heels, while matching her dress with a blue smokey eyes.

The Jonathan Ross Show – Christmas Special streams Christmas Eve on ITVX from 9 am and airs on ITV1 at 10.15 pm. 

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