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How West Side Story Added Depth to Its Trans Character

How West Side Story Added Depth to Its Trans Character

west-side-story-trans-character-anybodys-bts-clip.jpg

The creators of the Oscar-nominated film take us behind the scenes of crafting trans character Anybodys.

Steven Spielberg's West Side Story is one of the most buzzed-about movie-musicals this awards season, and besides its out star Ariana DeBose sweeping tons of acting awards for her performance as Anita, the film is also notable for being a refreshing, inclusive take on the original 1961 classic, featuring a transgender character named Anybodys!

In a brand new, behind-the-scenes clip from the upcoming home media release of the film, West Side Story's producers and nonbinary trans actor iris menas (who plays Anybodys), gives us an inside look at how the character of Anybodys was updated and crafted for a modern audience.

"I have always questioned the gender of Anybodys," menas said. "It felt like to me, it was a trans character. Of course, I'm a nonbinary trans person, so I'm always looking for representation of myself or my community in musical theater."

"We always heard people say Anybodys is the first trans character in American musicals," writer and executive producer Tony Kushner said of the original character, who was created in the original 1957 Broadway production by playwright Arthur Laurents. "There is something that is gender-questioning or genderfluid about the original conception of the character."

West Side Story is now streaming on Disney+ and will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on March 15.

RELATED | Ariana DeBose Won a SAG Award For Her West Side Story Performance

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Raffy Ermac

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and the digital director of Out.