Actors Rachel Zegler and Josh Andrés Rivera met on set after being cast in the 2021 remake of West Side Story, directed by Steven Spielberg. Zegler starred in the movie as Maria, and Rivera played Chino, a potential love interest. They seemed destined to meet because they have been cast in the same film yet again: Both will be appearing in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
While they have only been dating a couple of years, they’ve obviously managed to do a whole lot together in that time. Here’s everything to know about Rachel Zegler and Josh Andrés Rivera’s relationship so far.
Some of the cast for Spielberg’s West Side Story were announced by Deadline in January 2019. Zegler screenshot the announcement and posted about it on Instagram. She tagged Rivera in her post, talking about how excited she was to work with him and the rest of the crew.
“when i played maria on stage a few summers ago, i never could have imagined that i’d be taking on the role again in steven spielberg’s ‘west side story,’” she wrote in the caption. “i send a huge thank you to everyone who helped make this incredible dream a reality— i never could’ve done it alone. i am so honored to join the legendary @TheRitaMoreno, @ansel, @arianadebose, @davidalvarezofficial, @joshandresrivera and more in telling this impeccably poignant story.”
Filming began that summer in New York City, though the cast could have met anytime before that. The pair played opposite one another as potential romantic partners, though Maria ultimately falls in love with Ansel Elgort’s character, Tony. Still, they had a fair amount of scenes together.
Zegler went Twitter official on February 17, 2021, with a message about Rivera.
“i love josh andres rivera,” she wrote, then shared a bunch of photos of them together.
On December 4, 2021, Zegler shared more pics of Rivera while promoting West Side Story, including photos of being interviewed, with other castmates and with him.
“pretty good week!” Zegler captioned the pics.
The couple attended the premiere of their film together on December 7, 2021, posing with the cast on the red carpet.
In late December, Zegler posted more photos with Rivera, and shared some thoughts on her whirlwind year and spending Christmas Eve with him.
“spending christmas eve with a man i have never met before, maybe you know him, he seems pretty cool— like he could be the love child of iron man and john wick, idk though,” she wrote.
The couple celebrated their first Valentine’s Day together, which some fans considered their “Instagram Official” moment, since other posts could have potentially been interpreted as signs of friendship rather than romance. But for the lovers’ holiday, she shared a sweet black-and-white image of them together, writing, “committing valen-crimes.”
In her Instagram Story the same day, she shared a picture of them having dinner, writing, “happy love day from me n mine.”
In March, Zegler received an award for her role as Maria at the National Board of Review gala. She was unable to attend but shared her speech on Twitter on March 18 from London, where she was filming Disney’s live-action Snow White.
In her speech, she mentioned Rivera, writing, “I wish to extend my thanks to the love of my life, who I was blessed enough to meet on the set of this film many moons ago. Thank you for holding my hand in my dreams and in my reality. I love doing life with you. Thanks for making me laugh.”
On March 27, 2022, the couple walked the red carpet together for the Oscars, where their film West Side Story was nominated for Best Picture.
The next day, Zegler shared pictures from the big night, writing, “couldn’t have done any of it without my other half by my side.”
Zegler presented at the event with Euphoria star Jacob Elordi, and fans apparently decided they’d make a good couple after seeing some backstage pics of them being playful together.
Rivera then shared a picture of himself with Zegler and Elordi, writing, “Friendly reminder that I was there also.”
On April 3, they walked the red carpet again for the Grammys, where Zegler performed during the In Memoriam segment.
She shared photos of them together the next day as well, writing in the caption, “it’s all so much more fun with you.”
Later that month, Zegler shared more about her relationship while talking to ELLE for the May Rising Star issue.
“There’s always this deep understanding of what I go through,” she said of Rivera. “Since [his experience was] on a different scale, he’s able to bring me back to earth and tell me when it really doesn’t matter. Because he‘s removed from it to a certain degree, he’s able to just snap me out of it, and tell me to stop checking my phone, or remind me of what actually matters, and remind me to be present, and to not focus on the opinions of 3,000 faceless strangers on the internet.”
On June 15, 2022, it was announced that Rivera and Zegler were both cast in the Hunger Games. It was already established that Zegler would play Lucy Gray Baird, a District 12 tribute, but then it came out that Rivera was cast as Sejanus Plinth, a Hunger Games mentor. On her Instagram Story, Zegler shared the news and wrote she’s “never been prouder of someone in my life.”
Filming for the prequel ended in November, and Zegler paid tribute to the cast including her boyfriend.
“to my favorite actor in the world, josh rivera, i love you so much. more and more each day. i am so glad we did this together,” she wrote.
The couple attended the premiere of Shazam! Fury of the Gods on March 14.
Following the release of the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes trailer, Zegler replied to a film post about Rivera in his role, writing, “that’s my baby and i’m proud.”
Zegler marked her two-year anniversary with Rivera on October 30. “2 years! happy anniversary, whammo,” she wrote. “i love you more and more each day. (you are the most grounded part of me.)”
The couple went on to attend Heidi Klum’s annual Halloween party together, dressing up as Daphne and Fred from Scooby Doo.
Zegler and Rivera started doing press together for Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes in New York City on November 1.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.