Rachel Zegler Closes Book on ‘Snow White’ Backlash

in Disney, Entertainment

Rachel Zegler in Disney's Snow White

Credit: Disney

Actress Rachel Zegler has had a 2023 that many fans will remember for a long time.

West Side Story (2021) marked Rachel Zegler’s breakthrough role, where she portrayed the iconic character of Maria, originally played by Natalie Wood in the 1961 film adaptation of the classic musical. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film brought Zegler into the spotlight, and her performance was praised for its depth and emotional resonance.

Rachel Zegler at a microphone in Hunger Games
Credit: Lionsgate Films

Not long after West Side Story, Rachel Zegler landed roles in multiple major projects, including Disney’s Snow White. Playing the titular character in the live-action version, Zegler will star alongside Gal Gadot (Evil Queen) and Andrew Burnap (Jonathan), but the movie faced an enormous amount of backlash and criticism in 2023, mostly stemming from comments made by Zegler where she said that it was “not 1937 anymore” and that this would be no love story.

Zegler later went on to clarify many of her comments and changed directions on her talking points. This was done after Disney announced the film would be delayed for a full year, to the spring of 2025.

“The cartoon is so beloved. It was the first feature-length cartoon movie. It won honorary Oscars. And all these amazing things that happened for that film are the reason that you and I get to sit here today, because it made Disney what it is. Obviously, that’s come with a lot of pressure that I’ve put on myself,” Zegler said. “Much like Hunger Games, there’s a very dedicated group of people who love Disney cartoons. I’m one of them. I love everything that the Disney Co. has put out in the past 100 years. So how do you put little baby Rachel at ease with what you’re doing in your career? How is it that you come to this role and make little Rachel proud? That was really what I used to fuel my emotion on that set. Because all the pictures are out there of little me in my Snow White gown.”

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Credit: Lionsgate

Now, the actress is seemingly putting 2023 in the rearview mirror and looking ahead to the future and what’s in store for 2024. In a series of tweets, Zegler shared that she was looking forward to 2024.

This included a retweet for a viral meme.

She also retweeted one post that gave a bit of a lookback at her in 2023.

While things might not have gone as planned for Zegler on the Snow White front, she saw major success in Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (2023), playing the role of Lucy Gray Baird. The prequel ended up grossing more than $323.2 million at the box office.

Rachel Zegler wearing Minnie ears at Disneyland
Credit: Rachel Zegler via Twitter

Zegler will next star in the animated musical Spellbound (2024) alongside Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem. The movie is set to be released on Apple TV later this year.

What do you want to see next from Rachel Zegler? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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