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The Hunger Games' Rachel Zegler Was Named After a Certain NBC Sitcom Character
You know the one. She's Ross Geller's sister!
Rachel Zegler, star of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on November 15. Among the topics covered: Her role in the prequel film, her role in accidentally starting a rumor that Nicki Minaj was on the movie's soundtrack, and the inspiration for her first name.
Lots of people—celebrities included—were named after famous and otherwise notable people. Selena Gomez was named after the late Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez, for example, while Beyonce and Jay Z's youngest daughter is named for the Persian poet Rumi.
Rachel Zegler's mom, meanwhile, was inspired by an iconic NBC TV show character's name. Namely, a certain Central Perk patron portrayed by Jennifer Aniston.
"I was named after Rachel Green from Friends," Zegler told Jimmy Fallon. "Nobody ever believes me, because they think that there's no way that I'm young enough to be named after Friends.
Yet the math does add up: Zegler is 22 years old, born in 2001, and Friends made its debut in 1994.
How Rachel Zegler was named after Friends' Rachel
Zegler explains that her mom was going to name her Catherine, but my older sister's name is Jacqueline, and they thought that might be too confusing for babies to figure out."
"My mom loved the way it sounded on Friends for Jennifer Aniston, so that became my name." As Fallon agreed, who doesn't love Rachel, and for that matter, Jennifer Aniston?
"Ross Zegler's got a good ring to it as well," Fallon joked.
What is Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes about?
Like the trilogy starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is based on a novel by Suzanne Collins.
"This is pre-Katniss," Zegler explained to Fallon. "Set 64 years in the past. It's been 10 years since the districts and The Capitol have gone to war, and the Hunger Games have been going on for 10 years."
Filmed for IMAX, Zegler described making the movie as "a crazy experience. Watch Zegler's full interview above, and watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on NBC and next day on Peacock.