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Casting Director Says Ariana DeBose Turned Down 'West Side Story' Audition Four Times

Casting Director Says Ariana DeBose Turned Down 'West Side Story' Audition Four Times

It took some convincing for Ariana DeBose to join the cast of West Side Story!

In an interview with Variety, casting director Cindy Tolan revealed that the actress turned down an audition for the film four separate times.

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“I asked her to come in and she said no. She refused four times and I had to talk her into coming in,” she said of casting Ariana as Anita. While the casting director thought she’d be a great fit for the role, the actress wasn’t as sure.

Cindy went to see Ariana as Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, a trip that confirmed that Ariana was right for the part.

She explained that the film necessitated performers who were not just triple threats, but had amazing chemistry on camera.

“With Ariana, it was just so clear that she had the triple. But we got her in the room with [director] Steven [Spielberg] who does his camera work, and it became this no-brainer.”

Cindy also called the dynamic between Ariana‘s Anita and her co-star Rachel Zegler‘s character Maria extraordinary.

In a recent interview, Ariana revealed why she had to say “no” to Steven Spielberg at one point during her audition.

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Ariana Debose, West Side Story

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