The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence finally spilled the secret to Rachel Zegler casting in the upcoming movie, The Ballad of Songs and Snakes in the leading role.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Lawrence revealed that Zegler first rejected the character as she’s as afraid of “going from six months in London to go deeper into Europe – into Poland – for another six months of her life”.
“The idea of spending additional time away from family and friends freaked her out,” recalled the director.
Lawrence continued, “She went ghostly white.”
The director also shared that he promised Zegler to bring his boyfriend and West Side Story co-star Josh Josh Andrés Rivera to visit her in Poland while filming the new movie.
“We’ll bring your boyfriend out! We’ll bring your family out! We won’t quarantine you”, he remarked, however, Zegler stayed steadfast in her decision.
Later, Lawrence cast Rivera in the role of Sejanus Plinth, the young classmate and friend of Coriolanus Snow (the Games’ oppressive president played by Donald Sutherland in the original trilogy), without realizing that he was Zegler’s boyfriend.
The director believed Zegler has “seen the light at the end of the tunnel” and finally she called the director to accept the lead part in the movie.
Zegler, on the other hand, said on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in June, “I regretted it the minute I said it no.”
“I had another project lined up that fell through that got pushed into 2023 and I just kind of put my name back into the mix and I got it,” she added.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes will be released in cinemas on November 17.
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