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‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

Aspects of “West Side Story” might not have aged well in the almost 60 years since its debut, but there’s no denying the beloved film’s position in the classic movie canon. It’s why, when talks of a “West Side Story” remake by Steven Spielberg began to occur last summer, fans of the original film helmed by directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and starring actresses Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, fans of the original film proved to be less than thrilled. Reasons for the knee-jerk objections to the remake ran the gamut with many of them stemming from fears that a white director like Spielberg being incapable of properly addressing the problems of the original film which included brownface and a mass of shameful Latino stereotypes. This week, after production for the film, announced the actors for the main cast of the film, fans of the 1961 film are resting a bit easier.

On Monday, production for the remake announced that after auditioning over 30K actors from across the globe, they have officially filled out their main cast and fans are not feeling let down.

United Artists

The original adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, the Romeo-and-Juliet-like story tells of the star-crossed love between Tony, a former member of the white gang known as the Jets, and Maria, the younger sister of the leader of a Puerto Rican gang. Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner has written the adaptation of the musical originally penned by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein.

Spielberg and his team have shown to a commitment to filling out a strong and authentic cast worthy of the adaptation by searching for their actors within the Puerto Rican and extended Latinx community. Doing their due diligence for the film, Speilberg, and writers from the film reportedly met with professors and students from Universidad de Puerto Rico – Río Piedras to garner a better understanding of performing arts on the island. They have also kept an open door of communication with Hispanic heritage and advocacy groups who have helped the filmmakers behind the remake with conducting research in regards to the Latino characters of the film and their storylines.

Speaking to Deadline about his approach to casting and researching the film, Spielberg said that “When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community… I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.”

Newcomer Rachel Zegler is set to play star-crossed lover Maria.

rachelzegler / Instagram

Rachel Zegler is a high school student who responded to the production’s opening casting call for actors with a video of herself singing “Tonight” and “Me Siento Hermosa.” The 17-year-old has built a dedicated following on Youtube and Twitter in recent years, showing off her musical chops to her fans on the platforms.

Zegler recently caught the attention of the internet when she shared a viral video of her showing off her pipes.

Zegler sang a rendition of “Shallow” from the Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper film “A Star Is Born.”

It’s not the first time Zegler will play Maria forever.

No doubt, Zegler’s upcoming role will garner her far more attention than this internet hit.

Broadway veteran Ariana DeBose will fill the shoes of Rita Moreno in the iconic role of Anita.

arianadebose / Instagram

The casting of 27-year-old Ariana DeBose is sure to increase excitement over the remake. Not only is the American actress, singer, and dancer of Puerto Rican-descent starred in the off-Broadway ensemble of Hamilton back in 2015 and in 2018 she received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as  Disco Donna in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. 

Also joining the film’s ensemble are David Alvarez as Bernardo and Josh Andrés Rivera has Chino.


Read: Remembering Miranda Sanchez On The 18th Anniversary Of ‘Lizzie McGuire’

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

To say our worlds were rocked when Pixar finally gave us a touching film about la cultura a few years ago would be the biggest understatement of the century. ‘Coco,’ the 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt filled our hearts and also brought us to tears. Still, as satisfying as the film was, there’s no doubt it left us craving more. And it looks like we might just get it.

An IMDB page for Coco 2 has been created and I’m sorry but I can’t stop freaking out!!

According to IMDB user anthandsoc-95189 who appears to have long had the inside scoop on upcoming films, ‘Coco 2: Return To the Land Of the Living’ is in the works! Some digging around has also revealed that another sight might have information on the plot and characters of the sequel film. Of course, this information has yet to be confirmed and might be purely a wish, but if it is we’ll dream big!

According to IMDB ‘Coco 2’ will take place 6 years after the first film

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The IMDB page says “It’s been 6 years since the events happened for Miguel. But when Hector, Imelda, and his great grand-abuelos need Miguel’s help to come back to the Land of the Living because some mysterious sinister masked skeleton is haunting and rules their world with an iron fist and sword and hates music.”

Which means, if IMDB is correct, we haven’t seen the last of Mama Coco!

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Sweet Coco could have a really big role in the new film!!

Of course, other sites have other insights into the could-be sequel…

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Because of course everyone has an opinion!

According to Fandom.com ‘Coco 2’ will take place six years after the first film.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We’ll see Miguel’s family attempt to throw him a fiesta, but sadly Miguel, still upset about Mama Coco’s death, will be upset.

When Miguel meets a sophisticated, ghostly and well-bred skeletal spirit Miguel will attempt to return to The Land Of The Dead for a vacation.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that’s an insane idea for a spring break.

In this version of the sequel, Miguel will a dark black hole to go back to The Land Of The Dead, to see Papa Hector and Mamma Imelda.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Of course, Miguel will be astonished when he sees his old family members for another time and finally gets to see Mama Coco.

Soon enough, Miguel is racing against time, once again, to avoid being a skeleton.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But this time, Marcel might not be so bothered by the idea of living amongst the dead for forever.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Who knows if Pixar has plans for a sequel in the works, but as one fan points out this clip by Pixar on the DVD release has some great hints!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VplFL0KS75s

Fingers crossed!

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

Stay grateful you did not grow up in the era of Snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook kids because you can delete but your recorded actions can still come back to bite. Cardi B knows the story. While the Afro-Latina queen of Trap isn’ making any apologies, the latest video to be dug up from her past is requiring her to give some answers.

Video of the singer, recalling a time in her life in which she felt forced to drug and rob men while seducing them has resurfaced.

Over the weekend, video of the “Money” rapper recalling how she used to drug and rob men resurfaced.

The video, which was recorded during an Instagram live broadcast, sees Cardi as she goes on a tearful verbal tirade about her past. This after, someone apparently questioned her success and accused her of not “putting in no fucking work.”

“I had to go ‘oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah let’s go to this hotel.’ And then I’d drug [expletivie] up and I’d rob them. That’s what I used to do.”

Users online were quick to comment.

“The fact that cardi b admitted to drugging and robbing men she would take back to a hotel for sex blows my mind,” wrote Twitter user @itsangelaa. “That’s not ‘keeping it real.’ that’s a crime.”

“I wonder what woulda happened if it were the other way round,” @BTSisthecauseo5 commented.

At the onset of the backlash, the rapper seemed to take the comments rather lightly.

The following day she also tweeted “IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE, IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE and I love it.”

On Tuesday, however, after users on Instagram and Twitter continued to simmer, she was forced to issue comment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bve_d3sFet7/

In a post to her Instagram, the rapper responded to the comments about the video by saying: “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”


Read:After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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