In West Side Story, star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria meet for the first time at a dance, but Ansel Elgort and his castmate Rachel Zegler met up at another kind of sock hop: Zegler’s high school musical.
Elgort, who will play Tony in the Steven Spielberg film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical and 1961 film starring Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood, surprised Zegler, who will play Maria, on Sunday afternoon at the stage door. Zegler was starring as Fiona in her New Jersey high school’s production of Shrek: The Musical when she bumped into her costar.
“Met this FAN at the stagedoor! he was pretty cool! not sure if y’all have heard of him? pretty sure his name’s tony,” she captioned the photo she took with Elgort on Instagram. She also playfully joked about her height compared to Elgort’s in her Instagram Stories, quipping that her “five-two is showing.”
West Side Story will not only be Zegler’s first movie musical (the unknown was chosen after an extensive search and picked, reportedly, over some well-known names), it will be Elgort’s first movie musical as well. However, Elgort does have experience with musicals onstage. When he was a student at New York’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, he often auditioned for musical parts against Timothée Chalamet. Now that he’s nabbed the role of a lifetime—one that left him “in tears,” according to an interview with W last fall—he’ll be doing anything he can to prove he’s going to be a good Tony to Zegler’s Maria when the movie starts production, after Zegler graduates from high school this spring.
We’ll have to stay tuned to see whether Zegler invites Elgort to the Shrek: The Musical cast party once the musical run is over, and whether Elgort can convince Spielberg to do a full 2019 update to the production of the midcentury classic so that he can keep his hype-beast DJ image intact.