Rachel Zegler was cast as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake months before Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” hit theaters and turned the 20-year-old newcomer into the best actress winner at the Golden Globes and National Board of Review Awards. The casting announcement was met with some backlash from toxic fans shocked and upset that an actress of Latin descent would be stepping into the iconic role of Snow White.
“Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me,” Zegler recently told Andrew Garfield as part of Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series, presented by Amazon Studios. “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.
Zegler added, “When it was announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days because all of the people were angry.”
“Ah, those people,” Garfield said. “The people that we need to educate. The people that we need to love into awareness.” Zegler concluded, “We need to love them in the right direction. At the end of the day, I have a job to do that I’m really excited to do. I get to be a Latina princess.”
Zegler’s sincere answer to the Snow White casting outrage is a very respectful way of addressing individuals who have resorted to social media to express their displeasure with the young Latina actress playing the classic princess. The West Side Story actor recently opened out about her first hurt from the casting reaction, claiming she suffered from “imposter syndrome” when many accused her of keeping dirt on Hollywood bosses to land her recent breakthrough parts. Her latest words showing a wish to help these opponents change their minds and add representation to the role are likely to show her ability as an actress and person to move on from such harsh criticism.
Disney’s live-action “Snow White” remake is being directed by Marc Webb, who just so happened to work with Garfield on “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Webb is also known for helming “500 Days of Summer.” Gal Gadot stars opposite Zegler as the villainous Evil Queen.
Disney has not yet announced a release date for its live-action “Snow White” remake; production is set to take place this year. Watch Zegler’s full conversation with Garfield as part of “Actors on Actors” in the video below.
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