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November 11, 2023

Rachel Zegler DESTROYED By CRITICS For TERRIBLE Hunger Games Performance! Hollywood Turns On Her!

TheQuartering [11/10/2023]

According to Variety:

As evidenced in its title, music plays a big part in “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

In the prequel to the original trilogy, “West Side Story” star Rachel Zegler portrays Lucy Gray Baird, the female tribute from District 12 for the 10th annual Hunger Games, who hails from a musical and nomadic people called the Covey. The film features Zegler singing several songs, including franchise favorite “The Hanging Tree.” Much of the music is folk-inspired, and Zegler sang each track live during filming. At the film’s London premiere — which came one day after SAG-AFTRA reached a tentative deal with the AMPTP to end the actors strike — Zegler told Variety who inspired her when it came to developing Lucy Gray’s voice.

“We channeled a bunch of people: Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton and Joan Baez, to name a few. That was really the voice that we were trying to find,” Zegler said. “But getting to sing live is my bread and butter, that’s what I’ve been doing my whole life and so it was really nice to get to bring that skill to my peers on set.”

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” centers on a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who becomes infatuated with Lucy Gray after serving as her mentor in the Hunger Games. The film also stars Hunter Schafer, Josh Andrés Rivera, Peter Dinklage, Jason Schwartzman and Viola Davis.

When it came to playing Coriolanus, Blyth was intrigued by the chance to discover the layers behind the man who would eventually become a tyrannical president of Panem.

“It’s very easy to kind of paint him as the baddie because he definitely is — I mean baddie in the bad way, not the good way — not the Instagram baddie, he’s a real baddie with a capital B,” Blyth said. “But I think for me, the exciting part is getting to answer those questions that I think we all had when we watched the original films, which is ‘How did he get like this?’ And maybe look at his humanity and dig into it a little bit.”

A common thread that bonded the main cast was their love of the original trilogy growing up. “I’m a huge fan of the franchise,” Zegler said. “I would go to midnight releases of the books and midnight screenings of the movies.”

Schafer said she even dressed up in costume, something that her “Songbirds and Snakes” character Tigris Snow — who goes on to be a stylist for the Games — would certainly approve of. “I literally made my own costume to be a Capitol person when I was in middle school when I was a huge fan of the books,” she said. “So it’s really full circle, the universe is at work. Because we’re all adults now! And now all these new kids will get to experience it.”

Because the 118-day actors strike officially ended on Thursday, the stars of “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” were also able to discuss other projects they have coming up. “Songbirds and Snakes” had previously landed an interim agreement with SAG-AFTRA, since it is backed by non-AMPTP company Lionsgate.

Zegler’s next big role is that of iconic Disney princess Snow White in the studio’s live-action remake. On Oct. 27, Disney shared a first-look image of Zegler and the dwarfs, revealing that they are rendered by CGI, which came as a shock to some. When asked about the dwarfs, Zegler replied: “I’m just really excited to get to share that movie with everyone in March 2025. We’ve got a lot of magic up our sleeve.”

Rivera also recently shared big casting news: He will be taking on the role of Aaron Hernandez in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming “American Sports Story.” Rivera actually scored the part after meeting producer Nina Jacobson on the set of “Songbirds and Snakes,” who also happens to have a hand in “American Sports Story.”

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