‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ cast discusses highly anticipated film

Lionsgate/Murray Close

The stars of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes are opening up about the highly anticipated film.

Rachel Zegler, Tom Blyth and Josh Andrés Rivera stopped by Good Morning America on Thursday to tease what fans can expect when the movie arrives in theaters on November 17.

Rivera says the movie, based on the book by Suzanne Collins, “goes into the history of Coriolanus Snow, who ends up becoming the dictator that he is in the original trilogy.”

Snow was perfectly played by Donald Sutherland in the previous Hunger Games films, and Blyth, who plays the younger version of the character, said those were “some very big shoes to fill.”

However, Blyth said he and director Francis Lawrence “talked very early on about kind of giving ourselves artistic license to not try and copycat Donald’s amazing performance — because how could you?”

Zegler, who plays Lucy Gray Baird, said she felt pressure coming into a franchise with such a dedicated fanbase as the one The Hunger Games has garnered throughout the years, but said they all came in as big fans themselves.

“It was pretty intense to step in, but we’ve been welcomed with open arms from not only Francis, who directed Catching Fire and the Mockingjay films, but also the crew that came back to do these movies with us, as well,” she said.

Zegler said she did “almost all” of her own stunts for the film, adding, “It’s a very, very intense film to do your own stunts on.”

The young cast praised the veteran actors who are also part of the film — notably Jason Schwartzman, Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage.

“I’m still pinching myself,” Blyth said. “It’s the best training you can get as an actor, to work with your heroes.”

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes secured a SAG-AFTRA Interim Agreement that allows cast members to promote the film during the ongoing actors strike.

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