I don’t want to jinx anyone’s career. But I’d be stunned if Rachel Zegler isn’t launched to superstardom by Steven Spielberg’s long anticipated “West Side Story.”

She’s a New Jersey girl. Now just 20 years old, she went to Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi. If you want to see just how immediately perfect she is in the role of Maria take a look at the latest trailer that just dropped.

Of Colombian heritage, Zegler uses a Puerto Rican accent in the film. She also played Maria in 2017 in a BergenPAC production of “West Side Story.” She fell in love with the show and notes it was the first musical she came across with a Latina in a lead role.

Of his film, Spielberg says it “speaks a lot to what’s happening today — it’s very relevant in terms of what’s happening on the borders, and very relevant today to essentially the rejection of anyone who isn’t white, and that’s a big part of our story.”

The pandemic delayed release of the movie for a year, which of course means she was just a teenager when she made this. It was originally set to come out a week before Christmas in 2020. It’s new release date is December 10. Unlike a lot of today’s postponed movie projects that simultaneously come to theaters as well as home streaming, Spielberg’s new take on the classic will only be released in movie theaters. I think that’s smart. It makes it more of an event which an epic such as this deserves to be.

By the way, this Jersey girl has already filmed two other movies that will come out after “West Side Story.” Zegler plays Snow White in Marc Webb’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” due out next year and has a role in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” expected in 2023.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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