High School Student Cast As Maria In “West Side Story” Remake

By Creative Media Times

Rachel Zegler courtesy of YouTube

Steven Spielberg has found the female lead for his upcoming remake of the classic romantic musical tragedy “West Side Story”. Her name is Rachel Zegler, a 17 year old student from New Jersey.

Rachel was selected for the sought-after role from 30,000 Latino actors who submitted video auditions.

She recently caught the internet’s attention after a video of her went viral which shows her singing Lady Gaga’s recent hit “Shallow’ from another hit musical “A Star Is Born.” She’s also uploaded videos on her YouTube channel which shows her singing original songs and covers of popular hits.

The remake is set to be directed by Steven Spielberg. She will be joining previously announced actor Ansel Elgort who will play the male lead.

The original 1961 “West Side Story” film as inspired by a Romeo and Juliet Broadway musical of the same name from 1957 which tells the story of Maria, a Puerto Rican girl who falls in love with a white New Yorker Tony.

The film was a critical and boxoffice hit, winning 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture. In 1997, the film was chosen for preservation on the National Film Registry.