Ansel Elgort previously appeared in a stage production of West Side Story as a Jet before nabbing the lead role in Steven Speilberg's remake

By Alexia Fernandez
October 03, 2018 04:33 PM

Before Ansel Elgort nabbed the leading role in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, he was gaining some early experience for the role.

Elgort, 24, starred in a stage production of the musical in 2007 for the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center when he was just 13, according to a photograph shared by

The budding actor portrayed hot-tempered Action, one of the Jets, in the stage production. Earlier this month, multiple outlets confirmed Elgort was set to play Tony, the founder of the Jets.

The Baby Driver star is taking over the role from Larry Kert in the original musical and Richard Beymer who played Tony in the film.

Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and JulietWest Side Story centers on the rivalry between young street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks.

Ansel Elgort in 2018 (left) and in 2007 (right)
Dia Dipasupil/Getty; Stagedoor Manor

The 1961 film adaption won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. Maria, the Juliet to Tony’s Romeo, has yet to be cast.

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Elgort has experience in the singing arena. Before making his breakout performance in 2014’s The Fault in Our Stars, the actor was popular in the electronic dance music scene, performing under the name Ansolo. His latest single, “Supernova,” was released in January.

As for film projects, the New York-born actor will next be seen in the adaptation of the hit book The Goldfinch, out Oct. 11, 2019.

West Side Story is set to begin filming in 2019.