Rachel Zegler: West Side Story actress gets Oscars invitation after outcry

Image credit: NME

Rachel Zegler, who starred in West Side Story, will attend the Oscars after all, despite an outrage when she disclosed she had not been invited.

In Steven Spielberg’s latest rendition of the classic musical, Maria, Zegler is up for seven Academy Awards on Sunday.

She claimed she would watch the ceremony on TV in “sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel” earlier this week.

However, she has since been added to the final list of prize presenters.

The 20-year-old is currently filming in the United Kingdom for Disney’s new live-action Snow White film.

“It’s not lost on me that shooting a film of the magnitude of Snow White during COVID is not easy, and any timetable change is no small sacrifice,” Zegler remarked.

She expressed gratitude to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, as well as to Will Packer, the producer of this year’s ceremony.

In response to a social media user’s question about what she planned to wear, the actress initially said she had not been invited to the glitzy Hollywood event.

Russ Tamblyn, who portrayed the Riff in the 1961 picture, was among those who urged the Academy to reconsider, saying it was “your responsibility to find Rachel a seat at the Oscars.”

Although Ziegler isn’t nominated, her co-star Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita, is a favourite to win best supporting actress, and the film is also up for the best picture.

Tennis legends Serena Williams and Venus Williams, whose tale is depicted in another best picture nomination, King Richard, are among the most recent additions to the award presentation lineup.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, and Jacob Elordi from Euphoria will join them.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L Jackson, Lily James, Daniel Kaluuya, Zoe Kravitz, Mila Kunis, Lady Gaga, Rami Malek, Lupita Nyong’o, Elliot Page, Uma Thurman, and John Travolta are among the previously announced presenters.