Rachel Zegler preferred to sing live rather than lip sync during her performance scenes for The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
In the upcoming prequel, the West Side Story actress plays Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute to District 12 in the 10th annual Hunger Games tournament. Lucy loves music and performing and often breaks into song, including at the reaping ceremony.
During an interview with Variety, franchise producer Nina Jacobson revealed that Zegler often preferred to her sing the songs live instead of lip-syncing to a track.
“Dave Cobb did the music and he is incredible. His songs are earworms. They stick in your head. They’re beautiful,” 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 on-set vocals will be included in the finished film, with Jacobson teasing a “jaw-dropping” moment in one particular scene.
“The big finale moment… un-f**king-believable. Her voice is jaw-dropping,” she praised.
Zegler’s singing chops are no secret – she made her movie debut playing Maria in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 version of West Side Story and often posts singing videos online.
The 21-year-old stars alongside Tom Blyth as her mentor Coriolanus Snow as well as Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer and Jason Schwartzman.
The film was directed by Francis Lawrence, who helmed three of the four original Hunger Games films.
It is scheduled to be released in cinemas on 17 November.
– Cover Media