est Side Story actress Rachel Zegler has stunned fans by admitting that she hasn’t managed to obtain an invite to the Oscars.
Zegler, 20, made her acting debut in Steven Spielberg’s highly-regarded remake of the classic musical last year, and the film is up for Academy Awards in seven categories. These include Best Supporting Actress for Zegler’s co-star Ariana DeBose, and Best Direction for Spielberg himself, as well as Best Picture, a nomination that usually all but guarantees an invitation for at least the leading cast.
Despite this, and her acclaimed performance in the film (she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical), Zegler, who plays the leading role of Maria opposite Ansel Elgort’s Tony, hasn’t been invited to the ceremony.
On Sunday, she wrote on Instagram that she would be rooting for the film “from my couch”.
After a fan commented that they couldn’t wait “to see what you’ll be wearing on Oscar night”, Zegler replied that she would be wearing “sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel”, going on to add: “Idk y’all I have tried it all but it doesn’t seem to be happening.
“I hope some last minute miracle occurs and I can celebrate our film in person but hey, that’s how it goes sometimes, I guess.”
She added: “Thanks for all the shock and outrage – I’m disappointed too.”
West Side Story received rave reviews when it was released in 2021, and fans have speculated furiously that Zegler’s Latina roots could have some connection to the Academy’s decision to pass her over for an invite.
With an American father and Colombian mother, Zegler became the first Latina – and youngest overall – actress to win the Golden Globe for her performance in West Side Story, something fans were quick to pick up on.
“It’s so befuddling how disconnected the Academy is from the younger generation of fans,” one viewer wrote on Twitter. “At a time when they are trying to gain viewership, this does the opposite to an important demographic.”
“The Oscars are trying to appeal to a broader, younger audience this year by getting beloved comedian Amy Schumer to host the show and totally forgetting to invite Rachel Zegler,” wrote another. “Finger is totally on that Gen Z pulse, guys”.
Zegler later took to Twitter herself to call for calm.
“My goodness, folks!! appreciate all the support, i really really do,” she wrote.
“We live in such unprecedented times, and a lot of work behind the scenes goes into making movie magic happen. that goes for film productions… and awards shows alike. let’s all just respect the process and i’ll get off my phone.”