Rachel Zegler Says It Took ‘West Side Story’ 36 Hours to Switch the Stained Glass for ‘One Hand, One Heart’

Rachel Zegler starred in West Side Story. Thanks to her YouTube channel, the actor even revealed behind-the-scenes information about Steven Spielberg’s remake. That includes a fun, stained glass-related fact about “One Hand, One Heart.”

Steven Spielberg released a remake of ‘West Side Story’ featuring Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort

Steven Spielberg and Rachel Zegler attend the New York premiere of 'West Side Story'
Steven Spielberg and Rachel Zegler attend the New York premiere of ‘West Side Story’ | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for 20th Century Studios

As a Tony Award-winning musical and a 1961 movie, Steven Spielberg created his own adaptation of West Side Story in 2021.

“I was 10 years old when I heard the record for the first time,” Spielberg said during an interview with Goggler. “That’s how old I was. And so, what were the things that appealed to me? The melodies. I didn’t understand all the words, but I understood the melody, and I understood the words on certain songs like ‘One Hand, One Heart.’”

This production starred Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, Baby Driver) as Tony and newcomer Zegler as María. Together, these actors appeared in “One Hand, One Heart” with colors projected on their faces. 

‘One Hand, One Heart’ from 2021’s ‘West Side Story’ had some intricate stained glass window pieces

During one YouTube video, Zegler took viewers on her trip to Morocco, complete with a dinner vlog and several camel cameos. At one point, the actor appeared alongside stained glass windows, pausing with the colors projecting onto her face. 

“This… reminds me of when we filmed ‘One Hand, One Heart,’ in the Bronx and in Harlem,” Zegler said. “And we were switching out the stained-glass window pieces to make sure that the right colors were going on our faces at the right time. It took 36 hours in total.”

The original “One Hand, One Heart” took place inside the dress shop where Maria works. Thanks to Tony Kushner’s screenplay, though, the 2021 version of “One Hand, One Heart” is different in this reimagination. Maria mentioned Riff and Bernardo to Tony at this moment. 

Aside from being filmed in the Bronx and Harlem in New York, some of West Side Story was shot in Paterson, New Jersey. Months after Speilberg’s movie premiered, “One Hand, One Heart” earned over a million Spotify plays. That makes this track one of the most popular songs from the production. 

Rachel Zegler performed several songs on the ‘West Side Story’ soundtrack

Aside from “One Hand, One Heart,” Zegler lent her voice to several West Side Story songs. That includes “I Feel Pretty,” also performed in the dress shop where Maria worked. She and Elgort both appeared on “Balcony Scene (Tonight,)” a song used to promote the film prior to its theatrical release. 

Zegler will appear in DC’s feature film Shazam! Fury of the Gods, also earning the role of Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. She’s currently working on Disney’s live-action reimagination of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, starring as the title character.

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