Something’s definitely coming and we’re trying to keep cool about it. The iconic role of Maria from West Side Story is coming to the silver screen again, but this time with newcomer Rachel Zegler at the helm as this generation's Maria.
Rachel is a young, uber talented actress that is going to take Hollywood by storm — she can sing, act AND dance. Talking about a triple threat, we can wax poetic about this starlet who reminds us of the Hollywood actors of the Golden Age of movies, actors like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This also puts her in the same league as the beloved and timeless actress, singer, dancer Rita Moreno, who will be starring in the new version of the movie that will directed by Steven Spielberg. It's time to get to know Rachel - Check out below and get to know her a little more!
Rachel is a young woman of many talents… namely she can sing (which always helps if you’re going to be in a musical). She came into some social media fame when she did an astounding cover of Lady Gaga’s Shallow, showing that she has some serious range.
She has also covered many other greats such as How Will I Know by Whitney Houston, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen and La Vie En Rose for any Édith Piaf fans. Rachel has built up quite the repertoire of impressive covers.
She is a New Jersey native
Rachel is a 17-year-old Clifton native from the beautiful Garden state. She was born to an American father (who is a healthy mix of Polish, Irish, German and Italian) and a Colombian mother.
This Latinx phenom isn’t a newbie to acting, though. She has some serious stage experience, having performed in several high school, local and regional productions. She’s also performed the role of Maria as well, so she has a deep understanding of what it means to play such an iconic role.
She has also played Belle in Beauty and the Beast (which she was nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theater Award), Serena in Legally Blonde and Cosette in Les Misérables.
When she heard the call, she answered
Rachel was one of 30,000 people who answered an open casting call she saw on social media for the movie, so you know the girl has some killer acting and singing chops to beat out a huge crowd of people for the coveted role of Maria.
Why playing Maria is so important to her
“When I played Maria on stage a few summers ago, I never could have imagined that I’d be taking on the role again in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story,” shared the actress on social media.
“As a Colombian-American woman growing up in this day and age, strong roles like Maria are so important. To be able to bring that role to life— a role that means so much to the Hispanic community— is so humbling.”