To be selected from among 30,000 applicants by famous director Steven Spielberg is the dream of any actress, but for Rachel Ziegler, winning the selection for the remake of “West Side Story” was a very fitting process.
“It didn’t feel like a fairy tale. In fact, I got really nervous!” says Ziegler, who is starring in the remake of the musical that premieres Friday in the US.
To get the role, Ziegler made a video clip when he was 16 that counted “I Feel Pretty,” one of the most popular songs in the production.
Take eight or nine exams over the course of a year.
“I left every round thinking ‘If this movie isn’t mine, I can’t stand the urge to watch this movie anyway, and I was here today to meet these nice people, maybe they’ll think of something else,'” says the 20-year-old actress. In an interview with Agence France-Presse.
“I had a great time, and they gave me the opportunity to shoot the movie,” he adds.
Due to the pandemic, the tape was kept for more than two years after filming ended. In this period, Ziggler won the role of Snow White in this reworking of this Disney story.
Now on the big screen, and thrown into stardom with a role that might catapult her into an Academy Award competition, Ziegler says she’s not sure she knows what it’s like to become a celebrity.
“Being famous is fun, it’s cute,” she says.
“we are different”
Spielberg’s decision to re-release the 1961 production drew criticism from many fans who felt there was nothing to improve it.
Setting a record for a musical, “West Side Story” won ten Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress for Puerto Rican Rita Moreno, the first Latino woman to win a petite bust for her performance, and one of the few artists to win as well. , Tony and Grammy, a formula known as EGOT.
Reviews of the new version were enthusiastic, with a special highlight of Ziegler and Ariana Debus, who play Anita – the role that was Moreno in 1961.
In the face of criticism that the original film attracted because the film’s heroine, Maria, played a white woman (Natalie Wood), and because Rita Moreno’s skin was darker to give life to Anita, Spielberg’s cast was considered more authentic.
DeBose, who is of Afro-Latino descent, said her roots helped her re-create the character in a different way than the version of Moreno, who now appears in the film in another role.
“It wasn’t scary because we’re different. Of course she’s an icon, she’s likable. But being Afro-Latino, we’re different women and we have different experiences, and my experiences completely fill that character,” Debus said.
“I walk the world in a completely different way. I feel like when you know you have something to give to a character, you stick to that, and not focus on the pressure of someone else’s legacy.”
“As a Latino, I couldn’t be more proud to be part of a project that represents us so beautifully,” added Ziegler, who comes from a Colombian family.