Someday, my discourse will come
Once upon a time, 10 months ago, there lived a Disney princess named Rachel Zegler. She was promoting her role in the live-action version of Disney’s Snow White at D23 2022 when she told Entertainment Weekly she had not watched the original animated film since whe was a kid.
“I was scared of the original cartoon. I think I watched it once and then I never picked it up again. Like, I’m being so serious,” Zegler said. “I watched it once and then I went on the ride at Disney World, it was called ‘Snow White’s Scary Adventures’ — doesn’t sound like something a little kid would like — I was terrified of it, never revisited Snow White again.
“So, I watched it for the first time in probably 16, 17 years when I was doing this film.”
Gal Gadot, who plays the Evil Queen in the upcoming live action film, backs Zegler up, citing the young actress’s bonafides — she can dance, she can sing, she can act, she can do it all.
Both women said they watched the 1937 animated original on VHS when they were younger. Later in the interview, Zegler goes on to explain how the new version will be different from the original.
“The reality is that the cartoon was made 85 years ago, and therefore it’s extremely dated when it comes to the ideas of women being in roles of power and what a woman is fit for in the world,” Zegler said. “And so when we came to reimagining the actual role of Snow White, it became about ‘The fairest of them all’ meaning ‘Who is the most just?’ and who can become a fantastic leader.
“And the reality is Snow White has to learn a lot of lessons about coming into her own power before she can come into power over a kingdom.”
Gadot added: “Also, the fact that she’s not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s the proactive one, she’s the one who sets the terms, is what makes it so relevant to where we are today.”
Magic Mirror on the wall, which is the wildest comment of them all?
That interview cip, and others, made the rounds on TikTok and Twitter (excuse me, X) this week after video game streamer and X user @Vara_Dark posted a portion of the interview to Elon Musk’s social media platform.
“Rachel Zegler admitting she didn’t like Snow White growing up, saying she had only watched it ONCE before getting the role is so sad to me. Out of MILLIONS of women who loved the character, care about the story and yet this is who we get. 🤡🤢,” @Vara_Dark wrote.
Rachel Zegler admitting she didn't like Snow White growing up, saying she had only watched it ONCE before getting the role is so sad to me. Out of MILLIONS of women who loved the character, care about the story and yet this is who we get. 🤡🤢 pic.twitter.com/IVKQN4FIHc
— Vara Dark (@Vara_Dark) August 10, 2023
Hell, I’m a big James Bond fan, but I don’t think I should be the one donning a tux and driving an Aston Martin any time soon. MILLIONS of women love the original movie, really? How many MILLIONS of them can perform “I Feel Pretty”?
Other past interviews Zegler did for the movie have also resurfaced. In this one from September 2022, she told Variety about how she was bringing a “modern edge” to the Snow White story:
“I just mean that it’s no longer 1937…She’s not going to be dreaming about true love, she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be, and the leader that her late father told her that she could be, if she was fair, brave and true.”
In another interview from September 2022, Zegler told Extra TV the new Snow White wouldn’t focus on the love story at all and called Prince Charming a “stalker”:
“The original cartoon came out in 1937, and very evidently so. There’s a big focus on her love story with a guy who literally stalks her. Weird! Weird! So we didn’t do that this time.
“We have a different approach to what I’m sure a lot of people will assume is a love story just because we cast a guy in the movie All of [Prince Charming’s] scenes could get cut, who knows? It’s Hollywood, baby!”
Those comments also riled people up and started a debate about the feminist merits of the original story. One TikTok user, @cosywithangie, posted a video that has had more than 9.7 million views since its publication six days ago that criticized Zegler for not acknowledging women can pursue love if they want to.
“Criticizing Disney princesses is not feminist,” she said.
Just because a woman values something different, does not make her any less valuable. Some women want a career and not marriage. Some women want a marriage or family and not a job. Some women want BOTH. All are to be heard, and seen, and valued. Write stories about ALL women and depict them ALL as valuable and worthy, instead of trying to mold them into one specific image of what you deem worthy. Thank you. #snowwhite #snowwhiteliveaction #snowwhitecontroversy #disney
Grumpy, Dopey fans
There’s a lot going on here.
One is that the WGA and SAG-AFTRA are still on strike. Actors and writers in those unions can’t promote any projects, so that leaves fans and posters to hunt down old interviews to dig up. Snow White should hit theaters on March 22, 2024. (Zegler is the lead in the upcoming Hunger Games prequel, so that’s probably why people continue to bring this up.)
Another is that Zegler is just doing her job. There is no reason for these Disney live action movies to exist other than to line Bob Iger’s pockets. As such, the only things that have really “changed” in any of them are their politics. These movies aren’t incredibly progressive by any means, but they have the right lingo and updated characterizations down pat so that liberals will congratulate them and conservatives will grouse about them. Either way, Disney is making money.
Zegler was promoting the movie using the lingua franca of every single one of these remakes since Disney started re-releasing its classics. Saying shit like “Prince Charming is a stalker” is how these movies make headlines. And those comments did make headlines back when the interviews actually took place. People are just starving for another thing to debate angrily online.
But where did this annoying prerequisite come from that says an actor has to have a lifelong love of the character in order to turn in a good performance? (“Fans.” It’s always the so-called “fans.”) Alec Guinness, a Shakespearean actor, agreed to play Obi-Wan on the condition that he wouldn’t have to do press for Star Wars, which he called “fairy-tale rubbish.”
Speaking of Star Wars, Harrison Ford was famously grouchy about playing Han Solo and wanted eorge Lucas to kill the character off after Return of the Jedi. On the other end of the fantasy film spectrum, Robert Pattinson has said multiple times how embarrassed he was of playing Edward Cullen in Twilight.
Seems like a double standard, no?
Anyway, we’ll see how the new movie plays when it comes out. Supposedly there won’t even be any dwarves. It will still clean up at the box office.