‘West Side Story’: Some of the Cast Members Still Talk Every Day

In the age of remakes and reboots, it’s no surprise that West Side Story is being remade. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the 2021 film will, once again, explore the love between two teenagers. Set in the 1950s in New York City, the film follows two people from wildly different backgrounds as they attempt to connect on a deeper level. In addition to a world-renown director, the film also boasts a large ensemble cast with names like Rita Moreno, Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, and Maddie Ziegler taking on some of the bigger roles.

West Side Story cast membe Maddie Ziegler attend the premier of Space Jam: A New Legacy
‘West Side Story’ cast member Maddie Ziegler | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

It’s not uncommon for actors to bond while working on a set of a movie or TV show. However, it is a bit rarer that everyone gets along super well and remains in constant contact well after the project has wrapped. But the cast of West Side Story seems to have really hit it off. And because the film was shot before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they were able to physically connect without any kind of worries or restrictions.

Maddie Ziegler reveals that the ‘West Side Story’ cast is still in contact today

“We got so lucky because we could all hug each other and be around each other,” Ziegler, who was cast as Velma in West Side Story, shared with V Magazine. “I’m honestly very grateful for that experience, and that we were able to have it before COVID hit. It was one of those things where we were such a family, to the point where we were hugging each other and always being around each other.” 

Continuing on, Ziegler shared that even though she didn’t have the biggest role in West Side Story her fellow castmates still went out of their way to make her feel welcomed. The Dance Moms alum especially bonded with the other female actors on the film and revealed that they even have a group text that gets used on a daily basis.

The Jet girls have their own group chat

“We fully became a family,” Ziegler shared about the West Side Story cast. “We still talk to this day, the whole cast. The Jet girls, we all have a group chat that literally still is being used every single day. I love it so much, ‘cause the Jet girls, we obviously were not nearly there as much as the Jet boys and the sharks. So, we had more of a smaller role. But, the second we came in, everyone welcomed us so much. It really felt like summer camp, because we were in New York, in summer. We would just show up to work every day and there was not a day that went by that we didn’t have fun. Like, literally, every day was a blast.”

Continuing on, Ziegler shared that the energy on the set of West Side Story was nothing short of palpable. Between Spielberg’s excitement from the project and the male actors goofing off between scenes, there was never a dull moment. But the actor considers one of the sweeter moments as one of her absolute favorite memories from the experience.

Ziegler recalls one of her favorite memories with the ‘West Side Story’ cast

“We would do ballet every morning before we rehearsed, and one of my favorite days was when we were in ballet class and all of our [dance] partners came in and handed us roses,” Ziegler shared. “It was really cute. So, there were fun little memories like that, that will always stick with me for sure.” It will certainly be interesting to see how all that energy and fun translates into the film. West Side Story hits theaters on December 10, 2021.

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