Maddie Ziegler cast in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story
- Bang Showbiz
- 18 April 2019
'Dance Moms' star Maddie Ziegler will star in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story' adaptation playing a member of the Jets
Maddie Ziegler is to star in 'West Side Story'.
The 16-year-old dancer and actress – who starred in the music video for Sia's 'Chandelier' and 'Elastic Heart' – will play a member of the Jets in Steven Spielberg's upcoming big-screen adaptation of the classic musical.
The filmmaker has also cast Mike Faist – who starred in Broadway's 'Newsies' – as Riff, the leader of the Jets, while Puerto Rican singer-and-dancer Ana Isabelle will play Rosalia.
The 72-year-old filmmaker previously announced that 17-year-old New Jersey high school student Rachel Zegler would make her film debut as the film's female lead Maria and take on the iconic role – made famous by Natalie Wood in the original 1961 film – opposite Ansel Elgort as Tony.
The 'E.T' director previously pledged that the lead role of Maria in his reboot – which follows the love story of a 1950s Romeo and Juliet who are caught between two New York gangs, the American Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, – would exclusively go to a Latina actress.
Spielberg previously said: "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.
I'm so happy that we've assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America's multi-faceted Hispanic community. I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they'll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that's more relevant than ever."
Zegler added that she was "humbled" to be offered such a significant role to the Hispanic community and can't wait to get started.
She said: "I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast. 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."