Rachel Zegler Offers a Behind-The-Scenes Look at “Hunger Games” Prequel “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s opening Games for Rachel Zegler.

The 21-year-old Colombian Golden Globe-winning actress has offered a first look at the set of the Hunger Games prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes via her official TikTok account.

Rachel Zegler, The Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesIn the video posted to her account, Zegler gives viewers a tour of the set for the film, which is based on Suzanne Collins’ book of the same name.

The film stars Tom Blyth as a young Coriolanus Snow — who eventually grows up to become menacing antagonist President Snow in the original trilogy — who is chosen to mentor Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird during the tenth Hunger Games. Francis Lawrence is set to direct.

“Hello, TikTok, I’m Rachel Zegler, and I’d like to show you the set of Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” the Snow White and West Wide Story actress says at the beginning of the video.

A montage of quick shots reveals what appears to be a schoolroom set for the Academy, the Capitol’s elite high school. In one shot, students dressed in pleated blood-red uniforms sit on circular white risers.

The footage also features Peter Dinklage, who plays Academy dean Casca Highbottom, dressed in an all-black ensemble, in addition to a clip of Blyth and Ashley Liao — who plays Clemensia Dovecote — dancing in their school uniforms.

“Let’s meet some of the cast,” Zegler says in the TikTok. “I see here, the lead of the film, Tom Blyth. Do you want to be in the video?” she asks the actor, who is sipping coffee at the exact moment she asks the question. Blyth gives the camera a mock glare, then tosses the coffee cup at the camera.

Zegler then shows viewers “Video Village,” which she explains is where the “director, producers, writers, dialect coaches, they all watch.”

“You can actually catch some of them in action right now,” she adds as the camera pans over to people sitting in chairs and zooms in on one of the producers working.

Zegler also introduces viewers to Josh Andrés Rivera, who plays Sejanus Plinth, one of Coriolanus Snow’s friends and a mentor to the District 2 male tribute. “And over here we have my least favorite person on set, Josh Rivera,” she says jokingly. Zegler and Rivera starred together in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story — Zegler played Maria, while Rivera played Chino.

“What’s going on, it’s Josh Rivera coming at you live,” Rivera says, taking off his sunglasses and squinting at the camera.

The video concludes with Zegler re-introducing herself. “I’m Rachel Zegler, and I play Lucy Gray Baird in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Thanks for joining me.”

The TikTok was shot by Reece Feldman, also known by @guywithamoviecamera, a TikTok creator with 1.1 million followers known for posting behind-the-scenes content of shows like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and films like Not Okay.

Cast members not featured in the behind-the-scenes footage include Hunter Schafer, who plays Coriolanus Snow’s cousin Tigris Snow, and Viola Davis, who was cast as Volumnia Gaul, the creator of the Hunger Games.

Click here to see the full TikTok video.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes premieres in theaters on Nov. 17, 2023.

Wilmer Valderrama Becomes Shareholder of IHeartMedia’s My Cultura Podcast Network

Wilmer Valderrama is taking on more responsibility…

The 42-year-old Venezuelan and Colombian American actor has expanded his role with My Cultura Podcast Network from iHeartMedia by becoming a shareholder.

Wilmer ValderramaIn addition, Valderrama will help to curate the network’s slate of Latinx-focused podcasts and has committed to five new shows that will be executive produced by and/or star him.

According to the company, monthly podcast downloads across My Cultura have more than doubled since the beginning of the year, with 9 in 10 of the network’s total downloads coming from listeners aged 18-49.

“Representation shapes not just how others see us, but also how we see ourselves. It is imperative that every facet of our media includes narratives that uplift Latino and Hispanic voices,” Valderrama tells Deadline in an exclusive statement. “At WV Entertainment it is our mission to not just choose purposeful projects that accurately represent the stories of the Latinx community but to also make sure these stories are accessible to everyone. We are so grateful to our partners at iHeartMedia for seeing the value in this and prioritizing the need to highlight the joy, the power, and the heart of our community in ways that are still all too rare.”

Valderrama’s relationship with My Cultura began in the Summer of 2021 with the launch of his podcast, Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama.

The weekly interview series, executive produced by Valderrama and Leo Klemm via his production banner WV Entertainment and Clamor, features conversations with people in the front line of food service, transportation, child-care, and other systems where workers’ voices are often overlooked.

“We are excited to have Wilmer on board in an even larger, expanded capacity as a shareholder in iHeart’s My Cultura Podcast Network,” said Conal Byrne, CEO of iHeartMedia’s Digital Audio Group. “His energy, experience, and creativity will set this network up for even further success in year two and beyond.”

“We’re incredibly proud of the rapid growth our network has seen in its first year,” said Gisselle Bances, SVP, Head of Production and Development for iHeartMedia’s My Cultura. “We are the first majority Latinx-owned podcast network, and we are grateful to our partners and our diverse roster of hosts, including Wilmer, who continue to further My Cultura’s mission to tell our own stories. It’s stories by us for everyone to enjoy.”

Other popular podcasts from My Cultura include Connections with Eva LongoriaPrincess of South Beach starring Rachel Zegler and Sheryl RubioWrestling with Freddie from Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sisters of the Underground executive produced by Eva Longoria and Dania RamirezChiquis and Chill, and Lone Lobos with Xolo Maridueña and Jacob Bertrand. Listeners can hear all My Cultura shows on iHeartRadio and anywhere podcasts are found.

Disney Offers First Look at Rachel Zegler’s Highly Anticipated “Snow White” Film

Rachel Zegler is bracing for a snow storm of attention…

Disney has released a first look at its live-action Snow White remake, starring the 21-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer and West Side Story star and Gal Gadot.

Rachel Zegler,

Directed by Marc Webb, Snow White is based on Walt Disney’s 1937 classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was itself based on the 19th century fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm.

It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature and foundational to the Disney empire.

Zegler said it was “an honor” to bring the classic back to life “for modern age.” She said that, for her character, the film is about “Finding a sense of agency so she can be a just ruler and wonderful queen.”

Gadot observed that playing the evil queen was “very different than what I had done before. I am used to playing the other end of where the heart should be.”

The Wonder Woman actress called the Queen an “iconic villain” and said “getting under her skin was so delightful.”

She called the character “so not me” but stretching herself to find her was delightful.

The story follows a princess who is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make Snow White part of their household after she’s exiled into a dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother.

The new Snow White film will feature original songs from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Greta Gerwig and Erin Cressida Wilson handled the screenplay adaptation.

Zegler is portraying Snow White, with Gadot as the Evil Queen, and Tony winner Andrew Burnap set as the new male lead character, Jonathan.

Production kicked off in the UK this spring.

Javier Bardem Joins Voice Cast of Animated Film “Spellbound”

Javier Bardem is officially feelin’ the magic…

The 53-year-old Spanish Oscar-winning actor has joined the voice cast of the animated film Spellbound.

Javier BardemLed by West Side Story’s Rachel Zegler, the recently expanded voice cast also includes Bardem’s Being the Ricardos co-star Nicole Kidman, John LithgowNathan LaneJenifer LewisAndré De Shields and Jordan Fisher.

The upcoming musical from Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation will have Kidman voicing Ellsmere, the kind and just, yet hyper-precise Queen of Lumbria, with Bardem as Lumbria’s boastful yet big-hearted King, Solon. Together, they are the parents of Princess Ellian (Zegler), who they join on her daring quest to save her family and kingdom after a mysterious spell transforms them into monsters and threatens to cover Lumbria in darkness forever.

Lithgow and Lewis will voice Princess Ellian’s royal advisors, Minister Bolinar and Minister Nazara Prone, with Lane and De Shields as The Oracles of the Sun and Moon that Ellian seeks out to break the spell on her parents and the kingdom.

Additional characters aiding Ellian throughout her journey include the young nomad Callan, voiced by Fisher.

Academy Award winner Alan Menken is providing the film’s original score and songs, with song lyrics by Glenn Slater. Chris Montan is serving as executive music producer.

Bardem, who landed his fourth nom for his portrayal of Desi Arnaz in Being the Ricardos, recently appeared in Dune and Fernando León de Aranoa’s comedy The Good Boss.

His upcoming projects include Columbia Pictures’ adaptation of the children’s book Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Rob Marshall’s The Little Mermaid and Dune: Part Two.

Josh Andrés Rivera to Star in Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” Prequel, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s Games on for Josh Andrés Rivera

The 27-year-old Latino actor has joined the growing ensemble cast of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Josh Andrés RiveraRivera will reunite with his West Side Story co-star Rachel Zegler, one of the film’s leads

The prequel centers on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who as we know will become the tyrannical President of Panem. He is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

Rivera will play Sejanus Plinth, a close friend of young Coriolanus Snow, and the mentor to a tribute from District 2.

Other castmembers include Jerome Lance who will play Marcus, the tribute from District 2. Ashley Liao will play Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’s closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11. Knox Gibson will play Bobbin, tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral, tribute from District 4; while Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor to a tribute from District 11.

Francis Lawrence is returning to the franchise to direct for a theatrical worldwide release on November 17, 2023. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also returning to produce for the franchise with Lawrence. Author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are executive producers. Michael Lesslie wrote the latest draft off Collins and Michael Arndt’s previous script based on the author’s bestselling novel.

Rivera played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning adaption of West Side Story. Rivera will next appear in Susanna Fogel’s adaptation of Cat Person, based on Kristen Roupenian’s buzzy short story published in The New Yorker. He shares the screen with Nicholas Braun, Emilia Jones and Geraldine Viswanathan.

Rivera was a series lead in the HBO Max pilot Vegas High, directed by Gillian Robespierre and produced by Michael Showalter.

He performed in the original company on the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton.

Rachel Zegler to Voice Lead Role in Apple Original Films & Skydance Animation’s Animated Musical “Spellbound”

Rachel Zegler is preparing for the royal treatment…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American Golden Globe-winning actress and singer will voice the character of Princess Ellian, the lead role in Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation’s new animated musical feature Spellbound.

Rachel Zegler,Ellian is a tenacious princess who must go on a daring quest to save her family and kingdom after a mysterious spell transforms her parents into monsters and threatens to cover Lumbria in darkness forever.

Vicky Jenson is directing the film with Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin and Linda Woolverton penning the script.

The original score for the film hails from Academy Award-winner Alan Menken, with lyrics by Glenn Slater.

Chris Montan serves as executive music producer.

Zegler has had a great year following her award-winning breakout role as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. The film played a big part in her landing the role as the titular character in Disney’s new Snow White filmwhich is currently in production.

She’ll next be seen alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu in D.C. Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Maria Becerra to Make Grammy Awards Performance Debut

Maria Becerra is ready for music’s biggest night…

The 22-year-old Argentine singer and former YouTuber has been added to the lineup of performers for the 64th annual Grammy Award, taking place this Sunday, April 3. It will be Becerra’s first time performing on the awards show.

Maria BecerraBecerra will perform alongside J Balvin on their recent collaboration “¿Qué más’, pues?

Other recent additions to the performer roster include Silk SonicJohn Legend and Carrie Underwood .

In addition, Maverick City MusicAymée Nuviola and Billy Strings will perform in special segments that will showcase Las Vegas, which is hosting the Grammys for the first time, and spotlight genres not historically represented on the Grammy telecast, per a statement that accompanied this third and presumably last slate of Grammy performers announced on Wednesday.

Previously announced Grammys performers are Jon BatisteBrothers OsborneBTSBrandi CarlileBillie Eilish, H.E.R.Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow, Nas, Olivia Rodrigo and Chris Stapleton.

The ceremony will also include a previously announced In Memoriam salute to legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim performed by Cynthia ErivoLeslie Odom Jr.Ben Platt and Rachel Zegler.

Foo Fighters, who were previously announced as performers on the show, were not listed in the latest release.

The band is mourning the loss of its drummer, Taylor Hawkins, who died suddenly at age 50 on Friday, March 25.

On Tuesday, March 29, the band canceled all tour dates. The band has been closely associated with the Grammys over the years. The band has won best rock album four times — twice as often as anyone else — and is nominated again this year. Will the band show up at the Grammys as a way of honoring their drummer or is it too simply soon and too painful?

Most of the major 2022 Grammy nominees are set to perform on the show, but a handful of artists who rated high in the nominations aren’t performing (or at least haven’t been announced yet). They include Doja Cat and Justin Bieber, who each received eight nominations, as well as Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, who are nominated for both album and record of the year; Abba, which is up for record of the year; Taylor Swift and Kanye West, who are both vying for album of the year; and Ed Sheeran, who is up for song of the year.

The Academy has invited Bennett and Gaga, who received five Grammy nominations for their second collaborative album, Love for Sale, to the show. A performance may hinge on how Bennett, who is 95 and living with Alzheimer’s disease, is feeling that day. Gaga may perform individually if Bennett is not up to joining her, but such a move, even if planned, has not been announced.

Silk Sonic are nominated for four awards, including record and song of the year, for “Leave the Door Open.

J Balvin is nominated in the new best música urbana album category for Jose.

Nuviola is nominated for best tropical Latin album for Sin Salsa No Hay Paraíso.

Trevor Noah is set to host the 64th annual Grammy Awards, which will air live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 3 at 8:00 pm ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS. The show will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

Rachel Zegler to Perform at This Year’s Grammy Awards

Rachel Zegler will be getting her Grammy moment…

The Recording Academy has announced more performers for the 64th Grammy Awards program, with the 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer among those set to take the stage.

Rachel Zegler,Zegler, who will be a presenter at this weekend’s Academy Awards show, and Ben Platt will perform during a special In Memoriam segment, featuring songs of Stephen Sondheim.

In addition to Zegler and Platt, recently confirmed performers include Jon Batiste, Foo Fighters, H.E.R, Nas and Chris Stapleton. Additionally, Grammy winner Cynthia Erivo and current nominee Leslie Odom Jr. will perform.

The join previously announced Olivia Rodrigo, Brothers OsborneBTS, Brandi CarlileBillie Eilish and Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow. Additionally, Grammy winner Cynthia Erivo, current nominees Leslie Odom Jr.

Hosted by Trevor Noah live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast Sunday, April 3 on CBS at 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

 

Rachel Zegler to Serve as Presenter During This Weekend’s Academy Awards Show

Rachel Zegler has a date with the Oscars after all…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress/singer, who won a Golden Globe for her performance in West Side Story, will serve as a presenter for the 94th annual Academy Awards on Sunday.

Rachel Zegler,Over the weekend, Zegler reported on social media that she did not receive an invite to the Oscars, but that changed two days later when her production schedule in London on the Disney movie Snow White loosened up.

But, Zegler isn’t the only Latinx talent set to present on Hollywood’s Biggest Night.

Jacob Elordi, the 24-year-old Spanish-Australian star of Netflix‘s The Kissing Booth teen film franchise and the HBO series Euphoria, has also been added to the list of presenters, alongside Josh BrolinJake GyllenhaalJason MomoaJill ScottJ.K. SimmonsSerena Williams and Venus Williams.

Previously announced Latinx presenters include Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo and Rosie Perez.

Here is the full list of presenters, in alphabetical order, set for the Oscars, which will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET and in 200-plus territories around the world:

Halle Bailey
Stephanie Beatriz
Josh Brolin
Ruth E. Carter
Sean “Diddy” Combs
Kevin Costner
Jamie Lee Curtis
DJ Khaled
Jacob Elordi
Jennifer Garner
Jake Gyllenhaal
Woody Harrelson
H.E.R.
Tiffany Haddish
Tony Hawk
Anthony Hopkins
Daniel Kaluuya
Samuel L. Jackson
Lady Gaga
Lily James
Zoë Kravitz
Mila Kunis
John Leguizamo

Simu Liu
Rami Malek
Shawn Mendes
Jason Momoa
Bill Murray
Lupita Nyong’o
Elliot Page
Rosie Perez

Chris Rock
Jill Scott
Naomi Scott
Tyler Perry
Tracee Ellis Ross
J.K. Simmons
Kelly Slater
Wesley Snipes
Uma Thurman
John Travolta
Shaun White
Serena Williams
Venus Williams
Yuh-Jung Youn
Rachel Zegler

Stephanie Beatriz Among Latino Entertainment Journalists Association’s Film Award Honorees

Stephanie Beatriz is the LEJA choice…

The Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA) has revealed the winners of its annual awards, with the 40-year-old Colombian and Bolivian American actress among this year’s honorees.

Stephanie BeatrizBeatriz took home the Best Voice or Motion Capture Performance for her role as Mirabel Madrigal in Disney’s hit animated film Encanto, which was named Best Animated Film by the association.

The chart-topping single “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” which she performs alongside fellow voice cast members Carolina GaitánMauro CastilloAdassaRhenzy Feliz and Diane Guerrero, was named Best Song Written for a Film. The track was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Encanto

Meanwhile, the Encanto score, by Germaine Franco – the first Latina to be nominated for an Oscar for original score – was named Best Musical Score.

Oscar-hopeful Ariana DeBose, already a SAG Award winner, was named Best Supporting Actress.

The 31-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer/dancer continued her winning ways for her scene-stealing role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Spanish Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz was named Best Actress in a Leading Role for the work in Pedro Almodovar’s Spanish-language film Parallel Mothers, which took home the Best Foreign Language Film prize.

Anthony Ramos and his fellow In The Heights cast members won the Best Ensenble Casting award.

The LEJA membership also selected Miranda as the recipient of the Latino Activism Award. Meanwhile, John Leguizamo was honored with the 2022 Rita Moreno Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing the actor, producer and comedian as a tireless force in the Latino community. The Latino Breakout Award was bestowed on West Side Story star Rachel Zegler.

The Latino Entertainment Journalists Association is committed to developing and celebrating Latino voices among all areas and backgrounds of the entertainment industry.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Picture
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)

Best Director
Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” (Netflix)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Penélope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Troy Kotsur, “CODA” (Apple Original Films)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story” (20th Century Studios)

Best Voice or Motion Capture Performance
Stephanie Beatriz, “Encanto” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Animated Film
“Encanto” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Foreign Language Film
“Parallel Mothers” (Sony Pictures Classics) (Spain)

Best Documentary Film
“Flee” (Neon)

Best Original Screenplay
“C’mon C’mon” (A24)

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)

Best Ensemble Casting
“In the Heights” (Warner Bros)

Best Production and Set Design
“Dune” (Warner Bros)

Best Cinematography
“Dune” (Warner Bros)

Best Costume Design
“Cruella” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Editing
“The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)

Best Hair and Makeup
“Cruella” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Sound Design
“Dune” (Warner Bros)

Best Visual Effects
“Dune” (Warner Bros)

Best Musical Score
“Encanto” (Walt Disney Pictures)

Best Stunt Design
“No Time to Die” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)

Best Song Written for a Film
“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto” (Walt Disney Pictures)