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Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Remake Has Found Found Its’ Maria With 17-Year-Old High School Student

You may not know who Rachel Zegler is yet, but it won’t be long until you do. The 17-year-old newcomer was just cast as Maria opposite Ansel Elgort’s Tony in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical “West Side Story,” which will be her film debut.

So the big question is, who is Rachel Zegler, and can she sing? Uh, yeah. She’s got some pipes.

The newcomer has a whole YouTube channel featuring covers of pop songs and Broadway standards, including most recently, her own rendition on “Shallow,” Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s internet-breaking duet from “A Star Is Born.” In fact, a brief video of her singing the song in front of an empty auditorium went viral on Twitter back in December. A star is born, indeed.

And even though she’s singing in front of a mirror in what looks like her home bathroom, Zegler nails it. You can watch it above.

Zegler has also previously shared videos of herself performing as Maria in a 2017 high school production of “West Side Story,” including her final monologue and a video titled “West Side Story in Five Minutes.

She’s also a big Queen fan, performing covers of songs like “Somebody to Love,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “The Show Must Go On,” typically with headphones on from the comfort of a darkened room. What’s more, she’s frequently advocated for the Mercury Phoenix Trust and sports Freddie Mercury as the cover photo on her Twitter page.

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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’. i send a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this incredible dream a reality— i never could’ve done it alone. i am so honored to join the legendary @TheRitaMoreno, @ansel, @arianadebose, @davidalvarezofficial, @joshandresrivera and more in telling this impeccably poignant story. 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. i hope you’re all as excited as i am. ♥️✨

A post shared by rachel zegler (@rachelzegler) on

Zegler will star alongside Rita Moreno, who starred as Anita in the original film version of “West Side Story,” as well as Tony winner David Alvarez, Tony nominee Ariana DeBose and Josh Andres Rivera as Chino.

Meanwhile, if you had a question about whether her co-star Ansel Elgort can sing, well, here’s the actor covering “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” 

Watch Zegler’s video below.


by Brian Welk



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