Rachel Zegler pays homage to Katniss Everdeen’s fiery dress for Hunger Games prequel premiere

Rachel Zegler channeled Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games character Katniss Everdeen for the premiere of the prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

The 22-year-old actor paid homage to the girl on fire while attending the prequel film’s premiere at Zoo Palast, Berlin. In the film, Zegler plays the character Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12 like Lawrence’s Everdeen.

Zegler donned a stunning strapless black gown with a fiery red mermaid hem from Alexander McQueen, a nod to the iconic dress Lawrence’s character wore before the titular games that garnered the nickname “The Girl on Fire” after the dress memorably burst into flames.

The actor accessorised the look with silver hoop earrings, a single royal-blue bracelet, and a ring on her index finger. She also wore her hair down in a sleek middle part paired with dark red lipstick that matched the fiery tail of her gown.

Her stylist, Sarah Slutsky Tooley, posted the look on Instagram and wrote in the caption: “Alexander McQueen for the @songbirdsandsnakes Berlin Premiere. @thehungergames.”

On the red carpet, the West Side Story actor posed with her co-star Tom Blyth, who plays a young Coriolanus Snow who eventually becomes the villainous President Snow in the Hunger Games trilogy. Blyth opted for a sleek, minimalistic look, pairing a black blazer with a simple T-shirt, loose pants, and black boots.

Zegler was pictured resting her hand on Blyth’s chest while closing her eyes and smiling as the 28-year-old playfully rested his chin atop her head and beamed at the cameras.

She brought her 1.2 million Instagram followers in for the ride on her Instagram Story, sharing and re-sharing several photos from the premiere. The Shazam! Fury of the Gods star could be seen in a video posing in her gown and then excitedly waving and jumping at the camera. In another video, the actor posed alongside her costar Hunter Schafer, who plays Tigris Snow in the film, writing: “That’s my sister fr fr.”

The actor also shared a photo with her longtime boyfriend and co-star, Josh Andrés Rivera. The pair have been dating since they met on the set of Spielberg’s West Side Story. In the Instagram story, Zegler gushed: “I love you forever.”

The upcoming prequel film directed by Francis Lawrence is based on Suzanne Collins‘ 2020 book of the same name and boasts a star-studded cast including award-winning actors Peter Dinklage, and Viola Davis.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The story reportedly takes place 64 years before the events of the Hunger Games trilogy following a young Coriolanus Snow as he’s assigned to be the mentor to District 12 tribute Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird for the 10th annual Hunger Games.

On Zegler’s character, Lawrence revealed in an interview with Empire that Lucy Gray was essentially the “Anti-Katniss.” The director explained to the outlet: “Katniss was an introvert and a survivor. 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, [and] she really is a performer.”

“She loves crowds. She knows how to play crowds and manipulate people,” he added, highlighting the difference between the characters.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is in theaters 17 November.