Please never delete your YouTube channel, Rachel!
Steven Spielberg has just found his girl named Maria: fresh-faced Rachel Zegler, who went viral last December with a Twitter video of her singing a Gaga-worthy clip of “Shallow.”
Zegler, 17, will star as the Puerto Rican girl who falls in love with white New Yorker Tony in the Romeo and Juliet-inspired musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. (Tony will be played by perpetual high schooler Ansel Elgort.)
Spielberg and his team put out an open casting call for the role of Maria; Zegler was chosen among the more than 30,000 Latinx actors who submitted video auditions.
Even though West Side Story will be her debut film role, there’s plenty of opportunities to see Zegler perform, primarily on the teen’s YouTube channel where she’s uploaded herself singing covers of popular songs and originals.
Here are some of our favorite videos where she shows off her heart-stopping voice. A plea from us at EW: don’t delete the vlog when you go Hollywood, Rachel!
This is a full version of Golden Globe-winning song “Shallow” filmed in a bathroom:
Here she is a blonde wig singing “Don’t Forget Me” from Smash. Ivy Lynn is shaking! Karen, who?
Rachel singing “Never Enough” from The Greatest Showman makes Jenny Lind sound like an amateur:
This is her back in 2015 singing “The Wizard and I” from Wicked and yes it was filmed on a phone vertically but you won’t care when she hits that key change!
Rachel clearly loves musicals, and here she is killing a performance of The Last Five Years’s “I Can Do Better Than That”:
The Latinx actress shows off her Spanish in this breathtaking cover of “Breathe” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights.
Quick question: Is Rachel a real-life Disney princess?
In case you forgot for one second that Rachel was a SOPRANO, here she is with a rendition of “No One Else” that will give you chills and make you want to fall in love with a charming count with a bad reputation.
Filming for West Side Story will begin this summer, and until then we’ll be counting the days until we get Rachel singing “I Have a Love.”