Rachel Zegler, known for her roles in Shazam and West Side Story, is set to play District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird in the much-anticipated Hunger Games prequel movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Zegler’s character, a singer using her voice as a form of protest, will be performing live vocals throughout the film, as she opted not to lip-sync during production.
In an interview with Variety, producer Nina Jacobson praised the movie’s soundtrack, created by Dave Cobb, highlighting the memorable and beautiful songs that perfectly complement Zegler’s impressive vocal talents. Jacobson also shared that Zegler frequently chose to sing live on set, a decision that was met with excitement and support from fans on social media.
According to the Variety article, Jacobson said, “Rachel often would opt not to do playback, and just sing it live. Often, after they would call cut, people would just go bananas clapping!” Zegler’s live vocals will be included in the final cut of the movie, adding a layer of authenticity and raw emotion to her performance. Jacobson hinted at a particularly powerful finale scene, showcasing Zegler’s jaw-dropping vocal abilities.
Director Francis Lawrence provided insight into the film’s musical inspiration, attributing it to author Suzanne Collins’ affinity for country music. The movie’s soundtrack leans towards an Appalachian sound, reflecting the West Virginia roots of District 12.