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West Side Story 2020 Cast & Character Guide

Steven Spielberg and West Side Story Cast

Steven Spielberg's West Side Story 2020 cast is filled with a variety of famous actors as well as people who are relatively new to the industry. Based on the famous Broadway musical of the same name, Spielberg’s modern adaptation was written by acclaimed playwright Tony Kushner.

In 1961, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins adapted West Side Story for the big screen. Natalie Wood headlined the main cast, and the film ultimately won 10 Academy Awards. Produced for $6 million, West Side Story made over $44 million at the box office, and it became one of the cinema’s most iconic musical productions. Set in Manhattan, the central storyline explores the conflict between the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang, and an American crew named the Jets.

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Related: Steven Spielberg Now Has 4 Different Movies In Development

The new West Side Story adaptation from Spielberg has a $100 million budget, but it doesn’t necessarily feature a main cast of household names. Here’s the West Side Story cast that Spielberg and company assembled for the 2020 update.

Ansel Elgort As Tony

West Side Story Richard Beymer Ansel Elgort

Ansel Elgort portrays the co-founder of the Jets gang, a character who was inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo, and played by Richard Beymer in the 1961 film. While falling in love with his Juliet, Maria, he works at a drugstore, disillusioned by the culture that informed his world perspective. Unfortunately, rumors and lies alter Tony’s perception of reality.

In pop culture, Elgort is best known for his breakthrough role in the 2014 cancer-themed drama The Fault in Our Stars, and for his Golden Globe-nominated performance in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver. He also starred as Caleb Prior in the Divergent movie franchise. More recently, Elgort appeared in the 2019 drama adaption The Goldfinch, and leads HBO Max's Tokyo Vice TV show.

Corey Stoll As Police Lieutenant Schrank

West Side Story Simon Oakland Corey Stoll

Originally portrayed by Simon Oakland in the 1961 film, Corey Stoll’s character, Lieutenant Schrank, was inspired by Prince Escalus from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Detective Schrank keeps an eye on the on-going conflict between the Jets and Sharks.

Since the early 2000s, Stoll has evolved from a character actor into a seasoned film and television star. In Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, he portrayed the American novelist Ernest Hemingway, and also starred as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket in the MCU film Ant-Man. Most recently, Stoll portrayed Buzz Aldrin in First Man, and appears in The Sopranos prequel movie The Many Saints of Newark. On TV, he’s best know as Peter Russo from Netflix’s House of Cards.

Rita Moreno As Valentina (New Character)

Nearly 60 years after starring in the 1961 West Side Story movie, Rita Moreno joins the 202o cast in an original role. Her character will be an "reconveived and expanded version" of the Doc character.

Born in Puerto Rico, Moreno starred in numerous Hollywood films during the ‘50s, and earned an Academy Award for her West Side Story performance as the lively and skeptical Anita. She’s also an accomplished TV actress, most notably for her role in the ‘80s series 9 to 5, and for portraying Sister Peter Marie Reimondo in the HBO series Oz. Moreno also voiced the titular character in the popular ‘90s series Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, a role that she reprised for Netflix’s 2019 series Carmen Sandiego. Moreno currently stars in the One Day at a Time TV reboot.

Jamie Harris As Rory (New Character)

Jamie Harris in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

British actor Jamie Harris will portray a new West Side Story character named Rory. He’s the son of iconic Irish actor Richard Harris, and his older brother is Jared Harris (The Terror, Chernobyl). Harris made his film debut in the 1993 Academy Award-nominated film In the Name of the Father, and portrays Desk Sergeant Dombey in the 2019 Amazon series Carnival Row. He previously starred as Gordon in ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Maddie Ziegler As Velma

West Side Story Carole D'Andrea Maddie Ziegler

Originally portrayed by Carole D’Andrea in 1961's West Side Story, Maddie Ziegler’s character is one of the primary Jets. In the original film, Velma is Ice’s girlfriend, though Ice hasn’t been officially confirmed for West Side Story 2020.

Ziegler is best known for featured dance performances in several of Sia’s music videos, most notably “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart.” Now 16 years old, Ziegler previously starred in the Lifetime series Dance Moms, and made her feature film debut in the 2017 drama The Book of Henry. Ziegler also has a lead role in Sia’s 2019 feature film Music.

Brian d'Arcy James As Police Sergeant Krupke

West Side Story William Bramley Brian D'Arcy James

In the 1961 film, Brian d’Arcy James’ character assists Lieutenant Schrank, and inspires a comedic number called "Gee, Officer Krupke”. He’s mocked by the Jets for posing like a tough guy who won’t actually follow through with his threats. William Bramley portrays Sergeant Krupke in the original movie.

James is an accomplished Broadway performer. In cinema, he appeared in the 2019 films Dark Phoenix and The Kitchen. On TV, he starred in the NBC music series Smash and recently appeared as Andy Baker in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.

Kyle Allen As Jet Member (New Character)

Kyle Allen in The Path

Kyle Allen portrays an unnamed Jet member in West Side Story 2020. He recently played Hawk Lane in Hulu’s The Path and Timothy Campbell in American Horror Story season 8. West Side Story 2020 marks Allen’s second feature role after the 2016 film 1 Night, starring Anna Camp and Justin Chatwin.

Ariana DeBose As Anita

West Side Story Rita Moreno Ariana DeBose

Anita DeBose portrays Moreno's Rita from the original 1961 movie. Outspoken and street savvy, Rita is protective about her Puerto Rican friends. In 2009, DeBose competed in the reality series So You Think You Can Dance. In recent years, she starred in the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, and made her film debut in the 2019 feature Seaside.

Rachel Zegler As Maria

West Side Story Natalie Wood Rachel Zegler

The Jets

West Side Story 2020 Jets

Sean Harrison Jones as Action: Originally portrayed by Tony Mordente. Spielberg's West Side Story marks the actor's first film role.

Ezra Menas as Anybodys: Originally Portrayed by Susan Oakes. Like many other people on the West Side Story cast, this film marks Menas' first credited role.

Patrick Higgins as Baby John: Originally Portrayed by Eliot Feld. Higgins' only other credited role is playing Young David in the TV series Silent Witness.

Paloma Garcia-Lee as Graziella: Originally Portrayed by Gus Trikonis. Garcia-Lee previously portrayed Adrienne in the TV miniseries Fosse/Verdon.

Ben Cook as Mouthpiece: Originally Portrayed by Harvey Evans. Cook has appeared in numerous big-time TV shows in guest-starring roles, such as 30 Rock, Veep, and Law & Order: SVU.

The Sharks

Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino: Originally Portrayed by Jose De Vega. Rivera makes his feature film debut with West Side Story.

Ana Isabelle as Rosalia: Originally Portrayed by Suzie Kaye. Isabelle recently starred as Anita in Imprisoned and appeared in a handful of lower budget films in 2017 and 2018, including After EverythingDementia 13, and The Eyes.

Sebastian Serra as Braulio: New Character. In addition to appearing in a few short films, Serra portrayed Jason Martinez in the TV series The Age of Maturity.

Ricardo Zayas as Chago: New Character. Zayas doesn't have any other credited roles.

Carlos Sánchez Falú as Pipo: New Character. Like Zayas, Falú's first major role is in West Side Story.

Julius Anthony Rubio as Quique: New Character. Rubio previously appeared in The Greatest Showman as a background dancer, but makes his first named-role in West Side Story.

Next: Everything We Know About Steven Spielberg's West Side Story

Key Release Dates
  • West Side Story (2020) release date: Dec 18, 2020
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