Maddie Ziegler has done a lot in 17 years—and with a role in the West Side Story remake, she’s just warming up.
Maddie Ziegler really wants ice cream. She thought that was the plan, and when she’s informed that our interview will actually be held in the lobby coffee shop of her Brooklyn hotel, she’s visibly disappointed. “I’m sure we could actually walk to ice cream,” she suggests. “I’m sure there’s one around here.” There is, in fact, an Ample Hills Creamery a few blocks away. When we arrive, her wide blue eyes—the size and shape of a Disney princess’—light up. Her favorite flavor is chocolate chip, but when they don’t have that she settles on two scoops of sweet cream and cookies with “a lot of chocolate sprinkles on top.”
It’s just a small way that Ziegler reminds me that she is, in fact, still a teen. There are other indicators too: A parent has to be present at anything work related, from photo shoots to days on set. (Her mother, Melissa Gisoni, even calls halfway through our interview to check in.) But when Ziegler says, “I don’t want people to think I’m taking everything too serious. I’m still a kid. I still need to be a kid,” it sounds decidedly unkidlike.
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