Rachel Zegler’s life must be resembling a fairy tale right now. She began 2021 as an unknown actor, but in 2022, she started off as a Golden Globe winner and a Disney princess.
What’s even more thrilling for the West Side Story star is that her latest role, Snow White, allows her to showcase her Latina background in a way that has never been done before.
Rachel Zegler appears to have a talent for appropriating iconic roles and making them her own. She breathed new life into a long-loved Broadway and cinema character as Maria in West Side Story. Many people are excited to see what she can do with one of the most iconic fairy tale princesses in Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
It’s a big step in her profession, but it’s also one with a lot of meaning for her. She chatted with Andrew Garfield in a Variety Actors on Actors feature about what it means to be Snow White:
“Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me. You don’t normally see Snow Whites that are of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries. Blanca Nieves is a huge icon whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that.”
It’s unclear how Rachel Zegler’s Latina heritage will be included in the new Snow White picture
Despite the abundance of source material, it is rare to see Latina princesses in current fairy tale adaptations, as the actor correctly points out. Despite the negative reaction to her casting, she informed Andrew Garfield that she is still excited and focused on the job at hand.
Rachel Zegler was able to assist push the needle toward better Latin representation in Hollywood with her role in West Side Story, in addition to playing Snow White. In order to make the cast more authentic for the plot, Steven Spielberg actively recruited Spanish-speaking actors and actresses to play the Puerto Rican characters. The director was also praised for not using subtitles for the Spanish dialogue in the film.
It’s unclear how Rachel Zegler’s Latina heritage will be included in the new Snow White picture. Despite the fact that filming on the film has yet to begin, Zegler has done extensive (and enjoyable) research for her character. She’ll join the ranks of some pretty fantastic modern-day Disney princesses, including Lily James and Emma Watson, as well as Halle Bailey from The Little Mermaid, who is also breaking barriers with her casting.
One of several future Disney films to keep an eye on is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The musical West Side Story is now in theatres.