Extracurricular classes in high school do help!
Rachel Zegler, a 17-year-old high school music theater student, has been cast to play "Maria" in Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" remake. She caught the attention of the movie producer and director when she became a viral sensation for singing Lady Gaga's "Shallow" (from a Star is Born) on social media.
West Side Story is a more modern-day version of Romeo and Juliet and is about a Jets gang member, Tony, meeting and falling in love with Maria, who is affiliated (by family) with the Sharks, their rival gang.
So far, Ansel Elgort will play Tony, Ariana DeBose, a Broadway star, will play Anita, Rita Moreno will play Valentina, David Alverez will play Bernardo, and Josh Andrés Rivera, a Hamilton cast member, will play Chino.
Check out Zegler's Instagram account, where she's posted videos of her singing.
Photo: Twitter @rachelzegler
Rachel has already gotten a few thumbs up from other fellow actors and actresses.
Here's a clip from the original West Side Story in 1961