Rachel Zegler From "West Side Story" Shared What It Was Like To Sing "I Feel Pretty" In Front Of Stephen Sondheim

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A few weeks ago, BuzzFeed got to chat with Rachel Zegler, who totally killed it as Maria in the new West Side Story.

Rachel smiles on the red carpet in a strapless ballgown
Charley Gallay / Getty Images for 20th Century Studios

When we asked about her favorite behind-the-scenes moment, she replied, "There's too many to count, honestly."

"But I will say that something that's been on my mind is when Bruce Springsteen and Stephen Sondheim were both on set when I was doing 'I Feel Pretty,' and I couldn't bring myself to go over to either of them because I was so nervous," she said.

  Roy Rochlin / Getty Images
Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

"Because I'm from New Jersey, Bruce Springsteen is The Boss, my hero," she continued.

Bruce playing the guitar onstage
Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images

"And Stephen Sondheim is the reason I love musical theater."

A black-and-white photo of Stephen Sondheim leaning on a chair

Stephen, who wrote the lyrics for the 1957 West Side Story musical, died last month at the age of 91.

Fred R. Conrad / Getty Images

"So, the fact that he was watching me that day, singing his lyrics, it was just too much for me to handle, and I couldn't go up to either of them," she concluded.

  Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Taylor Hill / FilmMagic / Getty Images

And in a recent Instagram post, Rachel shared some beautiful words for Stephen. "My life would be nothing without Stephen Sondheim’s music. One of my first memories of musical theatre exposure was listening to Michael Cerveris and Patti Lupone sing 'A Little Priest' in the 2005 revival of Sweeney Todd. And the rest, as they say, is history."

"Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics to West Side Story when he was in his early 20s. It was his first professional gig. And this re-imagination of West Side Story is mine. That connection is truly everything to me. And every moment I was able to spend with Steve is a true blessing to me."

<div><p>"I like to believe that wherever he is in this infinite universe, he has the best seat in the house to watch our film, just as I did to record our soundtrack," she concluded.</p></div><span> Roy Rochlin / Getty Images</span>

"I like to believe that wherever he is in this infinite universe, he has the best seat in the house to watch our film, just as I did to record our soundtrack," she concluded.

Roy Rochlin / Getty Images

Thanks for chatting with us, Rachel! You can check out our full interview here.