Ansel Elgort Makes His First Public Appearance in Over a Year, But It Wasn’t for ‘West Side Story’

Ansel Elgort made a rare public appearance to show support for his father Arthur Elgort, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daily Front Row’s 2021 Fashion Media Awards. This marks the first public appearance in over a year and a half for the actor. Ansel Elgort was joined by his mother, Grethe Barrett Holby, a theatre producer, stage director and choreographer. The last public event for Ansel Elgort was the 2020 Golden Globes on January 5.

Last night’s appearance is also his first since he was accused of assault by a Twitter user named Gabby, in June 2020. Elgort immediately denied the allegations in a statement shared on his Instagram account. Following the scandal, he deleted all social media accounts. No charges were ever brought against Elgort.

As he eases back into the limelight, it will soon shine brightly on him, as his upcoming and highly-anticipated Steven Spielberg musical West SIde Story is set to open December 10. The ensemble cast includes Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll, and Brian d’Arcy James. Best Supporting Actress winner Rita Moreno will return in the role of Valentina.

Back in 2019, Elgort shared that making the movie was “magical,” explaining, “It’s been a dream working with the best people in the business. We’re having a lot of fun and pushing ourselves. It’s been really great.” He praised Spielberg’s fresh take on the classic, based on Williams Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. “There’s dancing and singing and the music is the same, but otherwise it’s a total reimagining and it all comes from Steven’s vision,” Elgort said. “He knows how to make great films and he’s been a big fan of movie musicals his whole life. I can’t wait to see how he puts this all together.”

Spielberg’s adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. “This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it’s returned with a kind of social fury,” Spielberg explained. “I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”

West Side Story is one of my favorite Broadway musicals and one of the greatest pieces of musical literature, my goodness, one of the greatest scores and some of the greatest lyrics ever written for a musical.” Spielberg has had a passion for the musical from a young age.“West Side Story was actually the first piece of popular music our family ever allowed into the home,” he explained. “I absconded with it – this was the cast album from the 1957 Broadway musical – and just fell completely in love with it as a kid. West Side Story has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to.” See Spielberg’s passion project in theaters December 10.

Topics: West Side Story

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