Jennifer Lawrence shares bizarre torch-passing to Hunger Games new leading actress

Kayla Harrington
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss EverdeenLionsgate

Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’s Rachel Zegler reveals hilarious torch-passing moment with Hunger Games’ star Jennifer Lawrence.

The genre of YA dystopian films is gearing up once again thanks to the premiere of The Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

The movie, based on the work of Suzanne Collins, follows a young Coriolanus Snow as he becomes the mentor to Lucy Gray Baird, the District 12 tribute reaped for the 10th annual Hunger Games.

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Since the movie is set decades before the original Hunger Games franchise, none of the original actors are set to appear in the film, but Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ star Rachel Zegler recently divulged that she had an interesting run in with Hunger Games lead actor Jennifer Lawrence.

Lawrence wanted to jokingly strangle Zegler for prequel role

During the press tour for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Zegler, who plays the lead role of Lucy Gray, discussed meeting Lawrence during Paris Fashion Week and how the older actress wanted to pass the Hunger Games torch in an incredibly unique way.

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“We were at Paris Fashion Week for the Dior show only a couple weeks ago,” Zegler said while appearing on The Kelly Clarkson Show, “I didn’t want to be weird. I was just kind of psyching myself up to talk to her. She was so unbelievably kind.”

Clarkson then showed a clip of the pair laughing together at the show and, when asked what they were laughing about, Zegler explained, “In that clip, [Jennifer is] actually saying, ‘Let’s do another photo where I’m strangling you and saying you’ll never take my part!’ And that’s exactly what I wanted from her.”

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Lawrence played Katniss Everdeen, the main lead role of the original Hunger Games franchise, which is a role that both defined the YA dystopian genre and Lawrence’s career.

Though both Lawrence and Zegler’s characters came from the same district in the films, director Francis Lawrence, who directed all the Hunger Games films including the prequel, explained how the two are very opposite of one another.

“Katniss was an introvert and a survivor,” Lawrence explained to Empire magazine, “She was quite quiet and stoic, you could almost say [she was] asexual. Lucy Gray is the opposite. She wears her sexuality on her sleeve. She really is a performer. She loves crowds. She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people.”

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The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is now in cinemas. Check out our other Hunger Games coverage below:

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About The Author

Kayla is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's huge fan of Marvel (especially if Wanda Maximoff is involved), shows that make you laugh then cry, and any cooking show found on the Food Network. Before Dexerto, she wrote for Mashable, BuzzFeed, and The Mary Sue. You can contact her at