Rachel Zegler Reveals She Initially Turned Down Role in Hunger Games Prequel

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes wrapped production back in November, and The Hunger Games prequel is set to follow 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) as he sees a chance for a change in fortune when he is chosen to be a mentor to Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), the girl tribute from the impoverished District 12. Zegler has been open about her excitement for the upcoming film and even shared a fun set tour during production. However, the West Side Story star recently admitted to the Happy Sad Confused podcast that she initially turned down the role. 

"Let me tell you because is such an embarrassing story for me. 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 [The Hunger Games franchise director] 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 and I had just gotten to London and I wanted to disappear because I was so far away from home for the first time ever. And I was away from everybody that I knew and loved, and I said 'no.'"

She continued, "And I regretted it the second I said it. 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 got it, and I feel really bad for any of the girls... because I put my name back in and they were just like 'yup, OK, cool, we'll do it.'"

What Does Jennifer Lawrence Think About The Hunger Games Prequel?

Jennifer Lawrence became a household name for her portrayal of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games films, which began back in 2012. The final movie in the franchise was released in 2015, and now that they're making a prequel, Lawrence admitted to The New York Times that it's making her feel old.

"That makes me feel old as mold," Lawrence shared. "I remember being 21 and thinking, 'My God, one day they'll redo and remake them. But I'll be so old by then! I'll be dead!'" She previously explained, "Franchises are so fun. I could never do one now 'cause I'm just too old and brittle."

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is set to open in theaters on November 17th.