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Meet Your Maria: Clifton Teen Cast In Spielberg's 'West Side Story' Remake

Rachel Zegler of Clifton is involved in the Hackensack Theatre Company. She landed the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story."
Rachel Zegler of Clifton is involved in the Hackensack Theatre Company. She landed the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg's remake of "West Side Story." Photo Credit: Rachel Zegler Instagram

Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" has finally found its Maria: Rachel Zegler of Clifton.

The 17-year-old will be making her film debut in the legendary musical opposite Ansel Elgort as Tony, who rose to fame in the "Divergent" series and "The Fault in Our Stars."

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. ♥️✨

The part will not be a new one for Zegler, a Colombian-American, who noted she played the same one a few summers ago.

Zegler sent in a video of herself singing "Tonight" and “Me Siento Hermosa” (“I Feel Pretty”) last January after seeing an ad for the role on Twitter.

Caseen Gaines, co-director of the Hackensack Theatre Company, worked with Zegler on community projects and described her as a "powerhouse."

I am over the MOON for Rachel Zegler, who I have previously worked with on community theater projects where I live in Northern New Jersey. She is a powerhouse and — believe me — you will want to buy tickets to West Side Story NOW! Rachel, I’m so, so proud of you. Keep on shining.

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