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Rachel Zegler revealed that featuring in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has brought her close to Jennifer Lawrence, who starred in the first edition of The Hunger Games (2012). During the London première of her film recently, Zegler, 22, shared, “I had already filmed it when I had met her, and we were able to bond over the fact that we know so many of the same people.”

She added that until that moment, Lawrence didn’t realise they had so many mutual friends in the Hunger Games world, including Francis Lawrence, who directed three of the movie’s franchise sequels and returns to helm the latest instalment.

While Lawrence, 33, essayed the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, in the first four Hunger Games films, Zegler plays the role of Lucy Gray Baird. Set 64 years before the first instalment of the dystopian action thriller franchise, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows Baird after she is selected as a tribute from District 12 and assigned a young Coriolanus Snow as her mentor for the 10th annual Hunger Games.

Asked about not meeting Lawrence before shooting, Zegler said it “relieved the pressure and made us feel like we were able to do our own thing.” On a lighter note, she added, “Though, if she had ever wanted to give me tips, I absolutely would have been open to hearing them.”

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