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Actress Ariana DeBose will voice Disney’s first Afro-Latina heroine in the upcoming animated musical comedy Wish.

The Oscar-winning star, whose father is Afro-Puerto Rican and mother is of Italian descent, will bring life to 17-year-old Asha. The character is “a sharp-witted idealist” whose powerful wish is granted to Star, “a celestial ball of boundless energy.” Despite the desire of her heart coming true, Asha and her pet goat Valentino have to find the courage to confront their kingdom’s leader, King Magnifico, and save their community.

Disney’s latest animated leading lady is a freckle-faced beauty with caramel skin, hazel eyes and dark brown braids. 



“Our heroine, Asha, lives in Rosas, known as the kingdom of wishes,” noted co-director Chris Buck in a statement. “People come from everywhere to give their wishes to a magical king who promises to grant their deepest desires—someday. Only he can decide which wishes will come true and when.”

Wish hits the theaters on November 22 and features original songs by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Julia Michaels and Grammy-winning multitalented musician Benjamin Rice. The film’s score is by composer Dave Metzger.

DeBose sang the anthem, “So I Made This Wish,” in the musical comedy’s trailer — which Disney unveiled at CinemaCon in late April. 

“She is a new Disney heroine. We love that. She is her own hero. I love that,” the actress said about Asha on Good Morning America April 27.

 The star is most known for her role in the 2021 Steven Spielberg rendition of the New York City-based classic West Side Story.

As a biracial woman who identifies as Afro-Latina, DeBose has been open about how her heritage has made her weary of her ability to take on certain roles. 

“I was hesitant to go in for many reasons. Latinas in the industry don’t really look like me — or hadn’t. And roles like this had not really been manifested in Black Latinas — not for nothing,” the Broadway star told the Los Angeles Times about her role in the Spielberg project.

“My Afro Latinidad, my heritage, my lived experience as a Black woman can give this something new, maybe something we’ve yet to see. But I also questioned whether there was space for that.”

We love that DeBose continues using her talent as an actress and singer to make more space for Afro-Latina representation. Read more on that below. 

RELATED CONTENT: “The ‘Queen Of Salsa’ Celia Cruz Will Be The First Afro-Latina To Adorn The US Quarter”

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