Rachel Zegler Responds to 'Angry' Criticism Over Her 'Snow White' Casting: 'I Have a Job to Do'

"We need to love them in the right direction," Rachel Zegler says of those who are slamming her casting in the title role of Snow White

Rachel Zegler attends the 2021 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Rachel Zegler. Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty

Rachel Zegler has a message for the internet commenters with an issue over her casting in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of Snow White.

The 20-year-old actress recently chatted with Andrew Garfield for Variety's Actors on Actors series, recalling that her casting announcement "was a huge thing that was trending on Twitter for days, because all of the people were angry."

"Ah, those people. The people that we need to educate. The people that we need to love into awareness," said Garfield, 38.

"We need to love them in the right direction," replied Zegler of those who criticized her casting over her race.

She added, "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."

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Rachel Zegler ; Snow White
Rachel Zegler (L); Snow White. 20th Century Studios; Everett

"Never in a million years did I imagine that this would be a possibility for me," she also 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," she continued. "But you don't particularly see people who look like me or are me playing roles like that."

The June announcement of her Snow White casting came months before audiences saw Zegler's debut performance in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, which opened in December. For her role as Maria, she nabbed the Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy.

RELATED VIDEO: Ansel Elgort Says His West Side Story Costar Rachel Zegler Is a "Legend in the Making"

The Snow White remake will be directed by Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man). Production on the film is set to start this year.

"Rachel's extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale," Webb, 47, said in a June statement obtained by PEOPLE.

Snow White is the latest of Disney's live-action remakes. The studio has previously reimagined Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Aladdin and Dumbo, with The Little Mermaid slated for a 2023 release. Villain origin stories have also gotten the live-action treatment with Maleficent and 2021's Cruella.

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