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Rachel Zegler
Rachel Zegler
Rachel Zegler

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Rachel Zegler Reveals Why She Initially Turned Down Leading Role in ‘The Hunger Games’ Prequel

NOTE: This article is 1 year old and may not include the most recent information.

The Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, has fans eagerly awaiting its release, and one actress who will be front and center in the film is Rachel Zegler. But, as it turns out, the 21-year-old originally turned down the leading role of Lucy Gray Baird.

In a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Zegler opened up about her audition process for the film. She revealed that she was offered the role in January 2022, but initially turned it down.

“Let me tell you, because this is such an embarrassing story for me,” she said. “I was offered it in January of last year, after wanting it so badly. I didn’t audition, it was just, I got a call from my agent that was like, ‘Francis Lawrence wants you to do this,’ and I met with him for like three hours at the Soho Hotel in London, and then he told me that they were filming in Germany and in Poland.”

Zegler went on to explain that she was feeling homesick and overwhelmed at the time, as she was in London for the first time and away from her loved ones. “I said, ‘No,’” she said. “I regretted it the second I said it.”

But, as luck would have it, another project she had lined up fell through and was pushed to 2023. This gave Zegler the opportunity to put her name back into the mix for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and she ultimately landed the role.

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“I feel really bad for any of the girls who [were auditioning],” she added. “Because I put my name back in and they were just like, ‘Yup, okay, cool, we’ll do it.’”

According to Zegler, the film’s director, Francis Lawrence, is still upset with her for initially turning down the role. But, as fans of The Hunger Games know, everything works out in the end. And, with Zegler now on board, we can’t wait to see her bring Lucy Gray Baird to life on the big screen.

Trevor Decker
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