Spielberg Just Cast A 17-Year-Old YouTuber To Play Maria In 'West Side Story'

Steven Spielberg has cast a 17-year-old high-schooler to play the iconic role of Maria in his 'West Side Story' remake.

“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors,” Spielberg told Deadline.

Teenager Rachel Zegler saw a callout on Twitter and recorded two videos of her singing tracks "Tonight" and "Me Siento Hermosa" from the musical love story based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. 

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Zegler currently has just over 80,000 subscribers on YouTube and has recorded tracks like "Shallow" from A Star Is Born and Queen hits including "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Somebody To Love".  The singer has a ton of long-time fans who are cheering on the casting decision.

The self-proclaimed theatre kid has acted in stage musicals including Legally Blonde and Les Misérables, and said that nabbing the part of Maria was particularly meaningful.

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“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” said Zegler. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character.

"As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community," she said.

Zegler will join previously announced cast members Ansel Elgort (playing Tony) and legendary actress (and EGOT winner) Rita Moreno.

Main Image:YouTube/Rachel Zegler