Rachel Zegler spoke to fellow actor Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) about the backlash she received by some people online when she was cast as Snow White in the upcoming Disney live-action film. She recently commented during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series.
“When it was announced, it was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days because all of the people were angry,” Zegler said.
The 20-year-old actress, who made her career debut last year in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, said that she never believed being cast as a Disney princess was something that could happen.
“Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me,” she said. “You don’t normally see Snow Whites that are of Latin descent. Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries. Blanca Nieves is a huge icon whether you’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just different iterations and the Grimm fairy tale and all the stories that come with it. But you don’t particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that.”
When Garfield heard about some of the negative feedback Zegler experienced when she was announced as the title character of Snow White, he knew exactly what she was talking about. “Ah, those people,” Garfield said. “The people that we need to educate. The people that we need to love into awareness.”
Zegler added: “We need to love them in the right direction. At the end of the day, I have a job to do that I’m really excited to do. I get to be a Latina princess.”