I realize these photos came out a couple of days ago, but I think they are worth posting. To me what is the best part is the willingness of some of the more popular actors to take a back seat when it actually comes to even being seen in the photos. To read the accompanying article, click here.
The Sharks and the Jets mark out a piece of urban turf while simultaneously expressing the joy of being young, vigorous, and able to kick ass. As Bernardo, in red, Rodrigo Santoro leads fellow Sharks played by Brandon T. Jackson and Jay Hernandez. The Jets’ leader, Riff, in yellow, is played by Chris Evans. Rounding out his crew are Cam Gigandet, Drake Bell, and Robert Pattinson.
THE DRESS SHOP
Bernardo (Rodrigo Santoro), is focused on his girlfriend, Anita (Jennifer Lopez), whose far-off gaze suggests she dreams of moving beyond the confines of the seamstress’s life. Bernardo’s little sister—the heroine of the film’s Romeo-and-Juliet drama—is Maria. Maria’s initial disappointment with the white dress sewn for her by Anita soon gives way to anticipation as she realizes the dress will cause her to stand out at the dance, where trouble shall begin in earnest.
Between Maria (Camilla Belle, far left) and Tony (Ben Barnes, far right, also known as Prince Caspian), it is dancing, dancing, dancing. Latin steps predominate on the left, as the Sharks and their ladies give America a taste of the culture to come. On the right, we have a series of funky Anglo moves, as the Jets and their gals go rhythmically at it. On either side, our two tragic protagonists have eyes only for each other. The lead Sharks dancers are Anita (J.Lo, in an incredible pose) and Bernardo (Rodrigo Santoro). The Jet girl dancing with Riff (Chris Evans) is played by Ashley Tisdale. Rounding out the Sharks, left to right: Minka Kelly, Jay Hernandez, Natalie Martinez, Brandon T. Jackson, Melonie Diaz. On the Jets’ side: Sean Faris, Shane Lynch, Robert Pattinson, Cam Gigandet, Trilby Glover, Brittany Snow, Drake Bell.
Before West Side Story takes its tragic turn, Anita (Jennifer Lopez) drives the film’s most effervescent and sexually charged scene: the rocking rooftop song-and-dance sequence set to “America.” The lyrics, by a young Stephen Sondheim (Sweeney Todd, etc.), give Anita all the ammunition she needs to top the verbal thrusts and parries delivered by Bernardo (Rodrigo Santoro, to the left of J.Lo) and his band of toughs. From left to right: Jay Hernandez, Brandon T. Jackson, Sean Faris, Shane Lynch, Melonie Diaz, Minka Kelly, Natalie Martinez.
Tony (Ben Barnes) is trying to leave behind his old street-fighting ways … which is tough for him to pull off, now that he has fallen in love with Maria (Camilla Belle), who happens to be the sister of top Shark Bernardo. But tonight is a night for a serenade. A fire escape takes the place of a Veronese balcony, but the underlying emotions that have brought Tony and Maria out of their enemy camps are the same ones that fired Romeo and Juliet, not to mention James Carville and Mary Matalin.
THE KNIVES COME OUT
At Tony’s urging, the Sharks and the Jets agree to an old-fashioned street fight, no weapons. But on a night so charged, it’s inevitable the knives will come out. Shark leader Bernardo (Rodrigo Santoro) delivers the fatal blow to Jets kingpin Riff (Chris Evans) as helpless Tony (Ben Barnes) bears witness. By the end of the scene, Bernardo is on the pavement, killed by Tony. And so the musical’s male romantic lead is now a killer, which is part of what makes West Side Story revolutionary.
After a Shark flunky named Chino rubs out Tony, Maria (Camilla Belle) mourns alone at the grim murder scene, in the film’s final image.