Rachel Zegler was lucky to land Shazam 2: ‘I needed a job’

“For the life of me, I couldn’t get a job because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet,” Zegler said of auditioning for the DCU during the pandemic.

Rachel Zegler thanked her lucky stars that she was cast in “Shazam! Wrath of the Gods.”

The “West Side Story” breakout actress revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that she “needed work” before joining the DCU sequel.

“I’m very serious,” Zegler said. “The reality was that we were in the middle of the epidemic and I wasn’t working. I couldn’t get a job for the life of me because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet. I’ve had a really hard time booking work, so I was really excited when this arrived in my inbox.”

He added: “I needed a job… I loved the first film and the fact that they even wanted to come in for a callback and then a camera read and everything in between, I’m so lucky to get this job. I made some of my best friends at this job. I absolutely love this movie too, so I’m excited.”

Shortly after West Side Story, Zegler was cast in the lead role in Disney’s live-action remake of Snow White.

“I never in a million years thought that was possible for me. You don’t usually see Latino Snow Whites,” Zegler said in January 2022. “Even though Snow White is really a big deal in Spanish-speaking countries. Blanca Nieves is a huge icon, whether we’re talking about the Disney cartoon or just the different iterations and Grimm’s fairy tale and related stories. But it’s not particularly about seeing people who look like me or me playing those roles.”

Zegler continued, “At the end of the day, I have an assignment that I’m very excited about. I’m going to be a Latin princess.”

The actress also made her debut at the 2022 Oscars and will lead the “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Zegler plays District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, an 18-year-old with her mentor Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth). Zegler admitted that he initially turned down the role after it was offered to him in January 2022.

“Let me tell you, because this is such an embarrassing story for me.” It was offered last January after I wanted it so bad. I didn’t audition, my agent just called me saying, ‘(director) Francis Lawrence wants you to do this,'” Zegler said in “Happy Sad Confused” podcast. “And I met him for about three hours at the Soho Hotel in London. Then he told me that they were filming in Germany and Poland and I had just arrived in London and I wanted to disappear because it was the first time I was so far away from home. And I was away from everyone I knew and loved and I said no.

Zegler concluded: “And I regretted saying it. I had another project that fell through and got pushed to 2023 and I kind of put my name back in the mix and I got it and I feel really bad for any of the girls… because I put my name back and they were like “oh ok ok, let’s do it.”

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