West Side Story star almost didnt show up for audition which won her a BAFTA

Actor Arianna Debrose almost did not take on the role of her West Side Story character Anita, revealed casting director Cindy Tolan at the 2022 BAFTA Awards.

Arianna won the British Academy Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the remake of the 1961 classic.

The casting director for West Side Story, which was released last year, opened up about her experience with the actress as she attempted to get her to audition.

She said: "I tried to get Arianna to audition four times, she did not come in. She was busy working on Broadway, she was rehearsing and she was in for the Donna Summer show.

"She was like: ‘I’m never going to get this, I’m not going in, I’m working,' but I finally picked up the phone and called her directly. We were seeing another couple of [actresses auditioning for Anita] but I told her I needed her to come in and meet Steven Spielberg."

Cindy continued: "She came and she sang, she danced, and Steven said: ‘Will you read this for me?’ I said: ‘No, I just got the pages last night,’ then he said: ‘Will you come back and read for us?’ She said: ‘Of course I will.’"

Other notable winners of the night were Lashana Lynch for No Time To Die and Joanna Scanlan for After Love.

Joanna was up against Lady Gaga, who played Patrizia Gucci in House Of Gucci, and she was crowned Best Actress.

After she was presented with the award, Joanna spoke about her emotions throughout the show and how she felt about receiving the prestigious accolade.

Scanlan admitted she felt “shaky” and that “life was yet to catch up on her” as she felt a “little behind the beat”.

The actress, who has starred in The Thick Of It, Stardust, and The Larkins, has been nominated for a BAFTA Award three times before for her television roles.

Through tears she confessed that to be “honoured by a BAFTA in film for leading actress” is the “highest accolade she could ever aspire to”, before she went on to say that she feels “honoured to be an actor” in this “special and secretive” industry.

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