Rachel Zegler Originally Turned Down The Hunger Games Prequel

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes The Hunger Games Rachel Zegler Tom Blyth

Rachel Zegler, who stars in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, shares that she initially turned the role down.

Actor Rachel Zegler, who will play Lucy Gray Baird in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, revealed that she was offered the role without having to audition and turned it down.

Speaking to Josh Horowitz, Zegler shared, “It was just a call from my agent that was like ‘[director] Francis Lawrence wants you to do this.’ And I met with him for for like three hours at the Soho Hotel in London, and then he told me it that they were filming in Germany and in Poland.” Zegler stated that she was put off by the idea of working outside of the US again, as she was going through homesickness while filming in London. “I was so far away from home for the first time ever, and I was away from everybody I knew and loved, and I said no,” she said.

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She regretted it immediately, and when another project she had lined up was pushed back to 2023, Zegler decided to put herself back up for the role. She also expressed sympathy for the other actors they may have been looking at for the role in the interim, because there was nothing further to the process after she changed her mind again. “I put my name back in, and then they were just like ‘yup, okay, cool, we’ll do it,'” which Zegler was very surprised by. Her role in the movie was announced in May 2022, ahead of the beginning of filming in July.

Joining a Star-Studded Hunger Games Cast

Starring alongside Zegler is Tom Blyth, who will be portraying a younger version of Hunger Games antagonist Coriolanus Snow, played by Donald Sutherland in the original saga. The rest of the cast includes Josh Andres Rivera, Hunter Schafer, Jason Schwartzman, Peter Dinklage, and Viola Davis. The movie is based on the 2020 book by Suzanne Collins, and will be released almost exactly eight years after the franchise’s previous entry, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

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This project will mark the third blockbuster in a row for the 21-year-old actor, following her Golden Globe-winning debut in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the Gods, in which she is set to play the mysterious villain Anthea. Fury of the Gods, a sequel to 2019’s Shazam!, was originally set to be released on Dec. 21, 2022, but was pushed back to March 17, 2023.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will hit theaters on Nov. 17, 2023.

Source: YouTube


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