Rachel Zegler Trashes Snow White Again

Imagine someone so smug that they look at Brie Larson and Jennifer Lawrence and ask them both to hold their beers. That’s what Rachel Zegler is, and I don’t say “seems to be” because we’re way past the point of calling this one. Zegler is the actress playing Snow White in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s first feature-length animated film, and she’s done nothing but act condescending and dismissive of the classic that spawned this update. And Zegler has made no secret of the fact that this is a modern-day version of the beloved story that will turn Snow White into a girlboss who wants to be a “leader” and who is dismissive of the notion of a handsome prince. She’s been grating for a while, but an interview she gave at D23 making the rounds right now is the worst yet:

Look, I get that she’s 22; everybody is a little bit of an asshole at 22. But she looks like she’s actively trying to get people to hate her. I know she probably doesn’t understand this, but people quite like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; that it’s such a Disney milestone ensures that lots of film fans have fond memories of it. It was the first movie I ever saw in a theater (in a re-release; I’m not that old), and it effectively ignited my love of cinema; taking me to see it when everyone told her I was too young and proving them all wrong is one of my mother’s fondest memories. And I’m positive there are a million stories like that, equally as treasured. Remaking a film of that magnitude is a risk already; having the star of the remake insult the original with an attitude as smug as Rachel Zegler’s is cinematic suicide.

What Zegler – and she’s far from alone – also doesn’t get is that the elements of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that she arrogantly dismisses as antiquated are universal themes and stories that speak to people’s humanity. The notion of being loved and having that love save your life – figuratively in reality, literally in a fairy tale – instantly grabs us and makes us empathize with fantasy characters. In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as in so much fantastical fiction, physical beauty is a manifestation of one’s soul. Snow White being “the fairest of them all” is a reflection of the love she feels when she meets the Prince; that she can love and be loved give her an inner beauty that someone as cold and evil as the Evil Queen will never know, and it elevates her above the Queen.  As the Queen’s actions grow uglier, so does her countenance, until she resembles a witch; her quest to kill a girl more beautiful than she has taken what physical beauty she had, bringing her looks in line with the evil in her heart. (In the James Bond books, Ian Fleming was a master at this.) Snow White, however, remains beautiful because of her capacity to love, and that draws the Prince to her, delivering her from death itself. So it’s annoying, to say the least, to hear the new Snow White call the Prince a stalker and laugh at the love story. (“We didn’t do that this time, a-ha-ha-ha!”)

And beyond the film itself, look how she talks about her co-star Andrew Bernap, who plays the Prince. She flippantly (you can tell she’s talking down to him) calls him a “great dude” with that exaggerated thumbs up before saying that he’s so extraneous to the plot that “all of [his] scenes could get cut.” I’m sure he appreciates hearing that. While the picture she paints of the movie hasn’t been enticing up to that point, she’s now being snotty to real people, in this case someone she worked with who, as far as I’ve heard, hasn’t said anything bad about her. Again, I’m trying to take her age into account, and Lord knows I’ve said things at 22 I wish I could take back (hell, I’ve said things this week I wish I could take back), but I can’t imagine being this mean and full of myself. I don’t like to prognosticate about the box office because it’s so fickle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Snow White remake bombs, and if it does, Rachel Zegler’s attitude will likely be a big part of why. But she can take heart that no matter how awful she is, she’ll always have a job at Disney.

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