Rachel Zegler Admits She Has ‘A Lot of Impostor Syndrome’ Since West Side Story Casting

Two and a half years ago, Rachel Zegler was just an ordinary high school student with a lot of film experience, but later this year she will play Maria in the highly anticipated remake of West Side Story.

But as she says City and Country — which she’s covered in a gorgeous red Dior dress this month — that overnight turnout has had her battling a bit of impostor syndrome.

“I haven’t done any other film projects, but I’m constantly pinching myself – this is definitely not my life,” she said. ‘That goes hand in hand with a lot of gratitude and a lot of fear and a lot of impostor syndrome.’

Up-and-comer: Rachel Zegler, 20, covers the September issue of Town & Country

Up-and-comer: Rachel Zegler, 20, covers the September issue of Town & Country

“I’m constantly pinching myself – this really isn’t my life,” she said

Overnight star: She admitted she has 'a lot of impostor syndrome' since being plucked from obscurity

Overnight star: She admitted she has 'a lot of impostor syndrome' since being plucked from obscurity

Overnight star: She admitted she’s had ‘a lot of impostor syndrome’ since being plucked from obscurity

One of those “pinch myself” moments probably came when she shot her cover for the magazine’s September issue.

Inside, she models a trendy Versace crop top and matching skirt, dresses from Giambattista Valli and Michael Kors Collection, a Chanel ensemble, and lots of expensive jewelry.

Zegler always hoped for fame, but had envisioned a Tony Award for a Hollywood blockbuster when growing up in Clifton, New Jersey.

She was in her first production, Fiddler on the Roof of a local theater at age 12, and auditioned for Rock of Ages on Broadway at age 14.

In high school she played volleyball and saxophone, but was especially obsessed with musical theater, even landing the part of Maria in a local production of West Side Story when she was 16.

That prepared her for the moment when her boyfriend messaged her for an open casting call for the new remake of the original 1961 version of the film.

Dreams: Zegler always hoped for fame, but had envisioned a Tony Award for a Hollywood blockbuster when growing up in Clifton, New Jersey

Dreams: Zegler always hoped for fame, but had envisioned a Tony Award for a Hollywood blockbuster when growing up in Clifton, New Jersey

Dreams: Zegler always hoped for fame, but had envisioned a Tony Award for a Hollywood blockbuster when growing up in Clifton, New Jersey

History: In high school, she played volleyball and saxophone, but was especially obsessed with musical theater, even landing the part of Maria in a local production of West Side Story when she was 16.

History: In high school she played volleyball and saxophone, but was especially obsessed with musical theater, even landing the part of Maria in a local production of West Side Story when she was 16.

History: In high school, she played volleyball and saxophone, but was especially obsessed with musical theater, even landing the part of Maria in a local production of West Side Story when she was 16.

Get ready: Now she's playing Maria in the remake that premieres in December

Get ready: Now she's playing Maria in the remake that premieres in December

Get ready: Now she’s playing Maria in the remake that premieres in December

Son Zegler submitted a video of her singing I Feel Pretty – and while it was clearly a success, she cringes when she thinks about it.

“I haven’t seen it since I did it. I’d probably want to pull my teeth out if I did!’ she said.

It goes pretty fast from there. By the summer of 2018, she received calls from the film’s casting director, and in January 2019, she learned that she had scored the role.

But first, she starred as Fiona in her Immaculate Conception High School’s production of Shrek the Musical in March.

The day after her last performance, the then 17-year-old was already at work for her first West Side Story rehearsal.

Even after two months of rehearsing, she was a nervous wreck the night before her first day of filming.

For the film she played Fiona in her Immaculate hat March

For the film she played Fiona in her Immaculate hat March

For the film, she starred as Fiona in her Immaculate Conception High School production of Shrek the Musical

Move up!  The day after her last performance, the then 17-year-old was already at work for her first West Side Story rehearsal

Move up!  The day after her last performance, the then 17-year-old was already at work for her first West Side Story rehearsal

Move up! The day after her last performance, the then 17-year-old was already at work for her first West Side Story rehearsal

‘I texted’ [a friend]: “I think I’m going to throw up. I’ll get back to you later.” I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t do anything. I was just… Oh my god, terrified,” she said.

Few people have seen her performance in the film, which will premiere in December, but several people involved in the film said the film will be different from the original.

Every Julia-based character is pure and innocent. She is the Virgin Mary and she can do no wrong,’ Zegler said. “But in reality she’s 18. She’s discovering so much about herself and the way she thinks about the world.”

But while it’s yet to be released, Zegler has already scored several big roles and currently lives in Atlanta to host Shazam! Fury of the Gods with Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu.

“I do have moments where I think, ‘I’m worth it, and I have this job for a reason,'” Zegler said. “But then it instantly fades into, ‘Oh god, Helen Mirren!'”

She has always been a fan of West Side Story and played the part of Maria in high school

She has always been a fan of West Side Story and played the part of Maria in high school

She has always been a fan of West Side Story and played the part of Maria in high school

“I do have moments where I think, ‘I’m worth it, and I have this job for a reason,'” Zegler said. “But then it instantly fades into, ‘Oh god, Helen Mirren!'”

After that, the Colombian-American actress will play the title role in the live action Snow White.

When the casting was announced in June, a handful of critics questioned her as the traditionally white character, arguing that Snow White is described as the “most beautiful of them all” with “skin as white as snow.”

Zegler took to social media to celebrate the news and fire back at trolls.

“Yes, I’m Snow White, no, I didn’t bleach my skin for the part,” she wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted.

Marc Webb, director of the Snow White adaptation, said Zegler’s “strength, intelligence and optimism” make her the right choice for the iconic role.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” he said in a statement to AFP.

“Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become integral to rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairy tale.”

.