Ariana DeBose headlines Marie Claire’s Ambition issue, and she’s a good choice — she’s had a delightful rise, from being cut from So You Think You Can Dance to being the bullet in Hamilton, to being a Tony nominee, to winning a freaking Oscar and a bushel of other awards. As the story notes: “Her greatest fear, she once said in an acceptance speech, was being told, Thank you for checking all those boxes for us, and now please take your Oscar and go away.” But she’s got a whole slew of projects coming, including voicing a Disney heroine, for which she gave the company props:

It’s not lost on DeBose that an openly queer woman voicing a Disney princess—or “heroine,” as she prefers to describe her character (“I grew up on Disney princesses, but when you’re a heroine, you’re the author of your own story”)—is groundbreaking. Against the backdrop of Disney’s ongoing tussle with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his “Don’t Say Gay” Law, which prohibits public school teachers from speaking about sexual orientation and gender identity, her portrayal comes at a particularly challenging moment in America’s march towards a more inclusive union. “Even with the tumultuous times that we live in and with all the anti-LGBTQ+ hate legislation, what’s going on in Florida, they’ve stood by me,” she says of the company. “They’ve allowed me to be a real partner in the making of this movie. If I can create a great working environment and be a part of the positive things that are going on, that makes more room for other people who look like me, who identify like me to come in and do the same.”

She also does talk about that BAFTA rap, which made her feel… well, you can probably imagine. But she had t-shirts printed with some of the lyrics and donated the proceeds to Mermaids, which supports transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse children in the UK, so if that’s not making lemonade out of lemons, I don’t know what is.

Oh, and by the way: LOVE the cover shot. It’s so assertive and cool. There’s something luxe about it, too. Not OTT, like you’d see on Town & Country, but perhaps a bit more whimsically soapy than you usually associate with Marie Claire. She’s the bee’s knees, and so is this cover shot.

[Photo: Lelanie Foster, story by Lola Ogunnaike]