There are times when you want to meet your idol—but right after you’ve earned not one, but two, major award nominations for your on-screen performance as Anita in West Side Story might not be the most opportune. Check out Ariana DeBose sharing her airport encounter with six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald above during an interview on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
“I was so taken aback that she stopped me. She totally changed my life. ’Wheels of a Dream,’ her vocals [are] everything to me,” said DeBose. “I was so horribly awkward. I literally just said, ‘I’m very emotional right now. It’s nice to meet you.’”
The moment happened just after DeBose learned she had scored a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award nomination. The actor has been earning rave reviews for her performance as the beloved character in Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner’s adaptation of the 1957 musical from Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins.
In her interview with Corden, the Tony nominee also discussed what it was like filming the “America” sequence, dance moves that didn’t make the cut in Netflix’s adaptation of The Prom (in which Corden also starred), and how she won free ice cream for the rest of her life from Cold Stone Creamery.