Now that Shazam! Wrath of the Gods is in theaters, Rachel Zegler is opens up about why she took on the role of Anthea in the DC movie. No, it’s not because of a passion for telling superhero stories or because the role would suit her so perfectly, but for the same reason many of us do the less glamorous parts of our jobs: For the salary.
“I needed a job. I’m so serious,” Zegler says Shazam Red carpet.
“The reality is we’re in the middle of a pandemic and I wasn’t working and I couldn’t get a job for the life of me because west side story hadn’t appeared yet,” he says The Hollywood Reporter. “It was really difficult to book work for me.”
Its probably the same logic that drives many high profile Actors to do a stint in the superhero industry. In an industry increasingly prioritizing non-franchise projects, taking on a role in this type of film these days feels more like “paying dues” or a quick cash grab that allows Actors to pursue less financial but more meaningful projects. Take Oscar Isaac, who right after appearing in Marvel’s Knight of the Moon (2022), has since managed the stage production Signing in at Sidney Brustein’s window at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
With Marvel and DC continuing to churn out numerous projects a year, it’s no surprise that production has become nothing more than a revolving door of one-off appearances from high-profile actors. The lucky ones get in, get paid and get out without a long contract tying them away from other projects for years. It’s unknown in the DC state if Zegler will return for the new film, but it looks like he had a lot of fun doing this, even if it came from a more desperate place financially.
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“I loved the first movie and the fact that they even wanted me to come back to play and then read the camera and then everything in between, I’m so lucky to get this job,” says Zegler. “I made some of my best friends in this job. I love this movie too, so I’m excited.”
Finally now as actors regularly forget their involvement It’s nice to hear a little more honesty in the MCU and DC projects about how they land these roles instead of waxing poetic about a character like Shazam.