Rachel Zegler on why she’s in ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’: ‘I needed a job’

Rachel Zegler is not a nepo baby. She was just a regular theater kid from New Jersey when she was cast as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. After she wrapped on WSS, she was looking for work and a way to support herself in Hollywood. So she did what thousands of young actresses do: went on auditions, tried to get any part she could to support herself. Thus, Zegler ended up getting a role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods alongside Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren. At this week’s Hollywood premiere, she was asked on the red carpet about her decision to join the DC universe, and Zegler literally said “I needed a job.”

When it comes to her decision to star in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Rachel Zegler has a very relatable reason.

“I needed a job,” the 21-year-old actress confessed to The Hollywood Reporter when asked about her decision to join the DC universe. “I’m being so serious.”

Zegler, who stars as Athena — one of three goddess daughters of the Titan Atlas in the movie — explained, “The reality was we were in the middle of the pandemic, and I was not working. I couldn’t get a job for the life of me because West Side Story hadn’t come out yet. It was really hard to book work for me, so I was really excited when this came in my inbox.”

Of her experience making the film, Zegler said, “I loved the first movie, and the fact that they even wanted me to come in for a callback and then a camera read and everything in between, I’m so lucky that I got this job. I made some of my best friends on this job. I just absolutely adore this movie too, so I’m excited.”

[From People]

Too many people were like “how dare she” or “her talent is beneath Shazam!” Like, she’s absolutely talented and she should get better roles and I wish those scripts were coming to her. But also, people have to work. There’s a reason why Helen Mirren is in this film too. There’s a reason why Robert Redford is part of the MCU! Actors like to work. Actors need to get paid. Especially someone young like Zegler – she had just come to Hollywood and wrapped on her first film, she was probably really worried that she wouldn’t be able to get anything until WSS came out. Don’t clutch your pearls over actors being happy to simply find (sub-par) work when there are so many recent stories about what happens when actors don’t even get a chance to work – look at Ke Huy Quan or Geoffrey Owens.

I’m including her red carpet interview below, plus pics of Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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16 Responses to “Rachel Zegler on why she’s in ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’: ‘I needed a job’”

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  1. Bee says:

    Wow, the bodice on that first dress is so bad that it makes the second one look good by comparison!

    I’m so over the naked dresses in general, but this one is terrible.

  2. Ameerah M says:

    I worked as an actress for 10 years. This is literally the mantra of every working actor who isn’t a major star: I need a job. You are excited just to be able to get a role at all. It’s only IF you become a major star that you can be choosy about what you do. Good on her for being honest!

  3. girl_ninja says:

    I didn’t think there was anything wrong with her answer. She was being honest and still respectful of film. They should go talk to Zach Levi about being a MAGA anti-vax, Jordan Peterson fan boy if they want to clutch pearls.

    • Ameerah M says:


    • molly says:

      THIS THIS.

      Also, do people think she’s set for life from doing WSS? As an uncredited, brand new, teenage actress? Shazam! is a $100M+ budget, major studio-backed movie with relevant, respected (most of them), award-winning costars. YA GIRL COULD DO WORSE!

  4. freddy says:

    I love Rachel, Helen and Lucy, but did they all have a few drinks and go to the Ugly Dress Boutique? My God, ladies…..when in doubt, a little black dress always works.

  5. HeyKay says:

    She is telling the truth. No shame in that. Acting is notoriously difficult to make a living in.
    I don’t know why anybody is judging her, if they are.
    Network soap opera actors i.e. Y&R have some actors who stay on for decades and do very well for themselves.
    Good Luck to her. 👍

  6. HeyKay says:

    Those hair extensions on Helen Mirren should be burned!
    Looks awful.
    HM doesn’t need that crap, she has talent!

    Hate the sheer/see thru/naked dresses, will they never go out of fashion?

  7. HeyKay says:

    That Zack Levi is an irritating tool, IMO. Every time he speaks I dislike him more and more.
    Will never watch anything he is in again.

  8. Beech says:

    I’m so old, old enough to remember when women wore their own clothing to premieres and the Oscars. Back when the Oscars were really a thing. No such thing as a stylist or a team. No sireee, you shoulda seen some of the gowns women wore, ruffles in some cases, paid on their own dime. Not everyone wore couture. Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn were the exceptions.

  9. AnneL says:

    Sounds reasonable to me. What’s wrong with being in “Shazam!” anyway?

    I like Rachel. She’s so talented. She sings like an angel but she can really act, too. I was on her side about the whole business of initially not getting an invite to the Oscars last year. She deserved the chance to be there, so I was glad she got to present.

    Rachel can certainly pull off a very daring dress. I think she looks beautiful. But I am just as over the Naked Dress look as everyone else seems to be. Let it stop.

  10. minnieder says:

    I think she looks amazing in that dress! If I were a couple of decades younger and had a body like hers, I’d wear it too 😂

  11. TangerineTree says:

    Rachel is stunning in that dress! So relatable with her honesty. She is extremely talented, and I’m looking forward to her future projects.

  12. Bread and Circuses says:

    I shouldn’t like all these sparkly-gauze-over-fake-naked dresses that are so popular this year, but I really, really do. I find them ethereal and very beautiful.

    (By contrast, I always felt like I should enjoy lace-over-fake-naked dresses more than I did, but they nearly always made the person look like they had a skin disease.)

  13. BQM says:

    Just as a side note about Helen mirren. She LOVES doing popcorn movies. National Treasure 2, RED, Shazam, Fast and the Furious, etc. It’s not just to pay the bills. She’s not up her own ass about what’s ‘beneath’ her. She likes to have fun and loves stunts.

    Redford did Winter Soldier for his grandkids. And he was cool enough to comeback for a surprise cameo in endgame. His last onscreen role before retirement.

    • Shai says:

      I love that Helen Mirren doesn’t take herself too seriously and enjoys making these types of movies. With her star power, she can be picky yet she still opts to be in these large, blockbuster movies..