“It was all in heels”: Rachel Zegler Flaunts Doing Her Own Stunts in Styrofoam Sets While Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves Get Snubbed For Mind-Numbing Reason

According to ‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ star, she did 95% of her own stunts in the 2023 film.

Although Rachel Zegler previously affirmed doing most of her stunts in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, it may not have proved enough to justify her recent victory at a fan-voted award ceremony among online users who vigorously continue to oppose the verdict!

Of course, with it being awards season, there will be discord among people from all corners of the internet over who won what. Zegler, the star of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story and The Hunger Games prequel, has become the current trendy subject of such online discourse.

And it all transpired after this year’s People’s Choice Awards, which saw the 22-year-old winning The Action Movie Star of the Year award.

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023)

Who knows if this development would’ve sparked the same response and contention had it not been for the talents she bested in receiving the honor.

Jason Momoa, Tom Cruise, Keanu Reeves, Brie Larson, and other well-known actors were nominated alongside the young star. With John Wick: Chapter 4 and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One featuring some of the most astonishing stunt work in recent times and both leading men being hands-on for most of it, the verdict naturally upset netizens.

“Keanu Reeves fell down 50 flights of steps… Tom Cruise drove a motorbike off a cliff”: Rachel Zegler’s PCA Award Win Makes Zero Sense

Rachel Zegler Did 95% Of Her Stunts In The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023)

Rachel Zegler. Credit: Variety | Actors on Actors

Rachel Zegler has dabbled in some stunt work on her own. Whether it compares to what Tom Cruise or Keanu Reeves do in their respective franchises remains a matter of debate online. However, the recent controversy surrounding the People’s Choice Awards has brought to light a statement (via Instagram) the young actress once made on Variety’s Actors on Actors.

Could this explain why she was the preferred candidate for the award among those who voted? Maybe. But it certainly doesn’t seem to be enough to appease ardent action movie enthusiasts who keep comparing the impossible feats achieved by Cruise and Reeves to what Zegler did in The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. 

She revealed doing 95% of her stunts (that too, in heels) to Little Mermaid star Halle Bailey when the latter enquired about the stunts Zegler did in the 2023 The Hunger Games prequel amid the falling rubble involved in some sequences. While the West Side Story actress admitted that it was Styrofoam rubble, she also flaunted her efforts in seeing through the action bits herself.

Following was Rachel Zegler’s statement:

“That was a lot [of stunt work], yeah. […] That was Styrofoam rubble, thank God. But it was all in heels and all real. I did 95% of my own stunts.”

Rachel Zegler in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (2023)

This wasn’t the only time the breakout star would confirm this. During the The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes press junket, Rachel Zegler affirmed to Fandango:

“Definitely, the action bits are so much more than I’ve ever had to do … This one was 95%—I did all my own stunts. And it was without much preparation.”

While Zegler’s followers may have considered this admirable enough to vote for her, other action movie fans have turned social media into a battleground after the PCAs, expressing their displeasure with the actress earning the Action Movie Star of the Year title.

Some have also denounced the ceremony as ‘rigged,’ as it awarded the star the honor against their perception of whether she deserved it. In their eyes, Reeves and Cruise were the more logical and ‘deserving’ candidates to settle on, given the rigorous stunts they pulled off in their respective 2023 titles.

With how intrinsic the two superstars’ names have become to the genre, it’s no surprise to see fans dismayed.

“John Wick didn’t die for this!”: Rachel Zegler’s Getting Destroyed for Dramatic Speech at the People’s Choice Award after Already Crying Over Keanu Reeves Snub

Netizens Believe Keanu Reeves And Tom Cruise Were Snubbed

Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves

For years, Mission: Impossible movies have been considered a staple in the action genre and have forever altered the fabric of pop culture and film history. Similarly, the Chad Stahelski-helmed neo-noir action film series John Wick has also become one of the recent-age endeavors to enjoy such a reputation. Imagining the genre without these franchises feels near-impossible (no pun intended).

This is not only because of the unforgettable stories and adrenaline-inducing adventures these premises have offered but also the physicality with which Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves have portrayed Ethan Hunt and John Wick, respectively.

In Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, we saw Cruise, as per usual, commit to death-defying stunts all on his own. Consider Cruise launching himself off a ramp built on a cliff while riding a motorcycle and doing a flawless base jump, for example.

Or you could take the actor filming a fight scene on top of a moving locomotive the team built from scratch as another jaw-dropping instance demonstrating Cruise’s dedication. ‘Insane’ would be an understatement of a word to call these sequences.

John Wick: Chapter 4 and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One

Then, there’s Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4. Previously, there were reports of the actor doing most of the stunts in the film series, and such was also the case in the fourth installment. Of course, stunt doubles take center stage during the more risky bits. Nevertheless, Reeves has a hands-on approach to handling certain scenes that require the utmost physicality and training.

What fans were particularly singling out from his performance, though, was his falling down the staircase. That, however, was his stunt double, Vincent Bouillon. However, Stahelski did confirm that Reeves performed much of the fight choreography and did fall a ‘couple of stairs’ in key shots to preserve consistency (via The New York Times)!

Amid these performances, which stole the hearts of action movie fans, Rachel Zegler’s triumph at the PCAs has unsurprisingly met their confusion. The fact that the award was fan-voted further perplexed these fans, notably because John Wick: Chapter 4 and Mission: Impossible were among the most popular action titles in 2023.

Alas, the outcome cannot be reversed, and sending unfiltered hate to Zegler can be a murky line to tread in this context.

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