What to Know About the Teen YouTube Sensation Playing Maria in 'West Side Story'

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Who is the 17-year-old high school senior from New Jersey starring in Steven Spielberg's upcoming adaptation of "West Side Story?"

Rachel Zegler will make her feature film debut in the remake after beating out 30,000 others to land the coveted role of Maria in the musical, which is inspired by "Romeo and Juliet."

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” Zegler said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "... As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

Zegler's famous in her own right. Her YouTube channel, where she posts videos of herself singing covers of famous songs, has over 85,000 subscribers, and a video of her singing "Shallow" from "A Star Is Born" went massively viral in December. 

She's also no stranger to the role of Maria, which she played in a high school production just a few years ago. Video shows her in rehearsals prepping for the performance. 

Zegler will join a roster of big names, including Ansel Elgort as Tony, Maria's love interest, and Rita Moreno as Valentina, a re-imagined Doc. Moreno appeared as Anita, Maria's close friend, in the 1961 film adaptation of the play.

"West Side Story" is expected to hit theaters sometime next year. Check out the video above to learn more about Zegler. 


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