It looks like Rachel Zegler is already starting to take over Hollywood, and she’s only starred in two movies. However, the young actress says that her next role as the titular Snow White (2024) is the one that made her feel “terrified.”
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Zegler started garnering attention for her YouTube channel, where she would record herself singing. She also earned award nominations for performing in musicals like Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid while attending Immaculate Conception High School.
In 2018, Steven Spielberg put out a casting call on Twitter for the role of Maria in West Side Story (2021). Zegler replied with videos of herself singing “Tonight” and “I Feel Pretty.” She was selected out of 30,000 other candidates; the rest is history.
Rachel Zegler would go on to receive widespread critical acclaim for her performance and won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy.
Since then, she has been seen in Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) and is cast in the upcoming The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023) and the new live-action version of Snow White (2024) as the title character alongside Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen.
While she’s garnering attention for every one of these high-profile roles, the latter is leaving her “terrified, terrified, terrified, terrified.”
“I’m very human.”
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In an interview with NME.com, Rachel Zegler talked about the pressures that other people put on her to succeed.
“When you’re in this industry, and you’re held to a certain standard, it can often feel like you’re trying to catch up with the version of yourself that everybody has projected onto you.” Zegler continued, “I constantly feel like I’m chasing after the girl who’s on the cover of Elle magazine, rather than who I look at in the mirror every morning. It can be really difficult. But at the same time, it’s cool to have aspirations to be yourself.”
However, playing Snow White had a much more significant effect on her than her previous films because of its prestige.
“I was terrified, terrified, terrified, terrified because you’re playing the first one. The blueprint of all Disney Princesses comes from 1937’s Snow White. You have so many conversations leading up to it. You’re gonna chop off all your hair and learn how to dance with all these fake animals and things that are not there. It was a lot of pressure.”
Fortunately, Zegler has ways of relieving this pressure: her YouTube channel. She sings songs but has also uploaded multiple emotional vlogs about her life and how she’s doing.
“I don’t always have good days. I’m very human. Even when I am sitting next to two friends of mine, Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren, I’m like, ‘what am I doing?’ I want people to see the dimensions that they tend to miss when they see the magazine covers.”
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