Hunger Games fans rise — District 12 is about to grace screens once again with the highly-anticipated release of the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes on Nov. 17. Though we might not be reuniting with Hunger Games franchise favorites like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson, new faces are making headlines for their respective roles and off-screen romance: Rachel Zegler and Josh Andrés Rivera.
Zegler and Andrés Rivera are blossoming stars with their recent features in highly-acclaimed films. Zegler just recently starred in the 2023 film Shazam! Fury of the Gods and is slated to lead a 2024 adaptation of Disney’s Snow White. Rivera appeared in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story, which also starred Zegler.
Zegler and Andrés Rivera first met on the set of West Side Story and are working together again in The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. On-screen, they are a dynamic duo, and off-screen they’re an adorable couple — and their relationship timeline is just as cute.
January 2019: Zegler and Andrés Rivera cast in West Side Story.
On Jan. 14, 2019, Deadline announced the cast of the West Side Story remake, featuring Zegler and Andrés Rivera. In her film debut role, Zegler was cast as the film’s female lead Maria. Andrés Rivera landed the role of Chino. This was just the beginning of the couple’s entertainment features.
July 2019: Filming for West Side Story begins.
With West Side Story production in full swing, Zegler and Andrés Rivera finally meet. Cue the brewing romance.
February 2021: Dating speculations arise due to a Tweet from Zegler.
Zegler nearly gave fans whiplash when she randomly tweeted on Feb. 17 her admiration for Andrés Rivera. The tweet read, “i love josh andres rivera,” followed by a string of swoon-worthy photos of the two of them. As you can expect, the dating speculations officially commenced.
November 2021: A month away from the premiere and rumors are still going strong.
A month out from West Side Story’s premiere, Zegler supported the upcoming release with a heartwarming Instagram post. In the caption, she wrote, “This story brought me my best friend in the whole entire world,” leading fans to think she was talking about Andrés Rivera.
December 2021: Zegler and Andrés Rivera get cozy during press for West Side Story.
The dating rumors really started to heat up when Zegler shared behind-the-scenes photos from press week before West Side Story‘s release. In the Instagram carousel, Zegler and Andrés Rivera seemed cozy together. The film was officially released on Dec. 10, 2021.
Late December 2021: Zegler teases her relationship in an end-of-the-year Instagram post.
Zegler and Andrés Rivera practically invented the soft launch and Exhibit A is seen in Zegler’s end-of-the-year post from 2021. In the caption she wrote, “‘twas a weird year. cried a lot. laughed even more, though. felt great big love i have never felt before. so, all in all? pretty sick. 🤍.” If the “felt great big love” wasn’t enough to spark all the feels, she then goes on to write “spending christmas eve with a man i have never met before, maybe you know him, he seems pretty cool— like he could be the love child of iron man and john wick, idk though.”
Yes, they spent the holidays together and the pictures of their Christmas sweaters were painfully adorable.
February 2022: Zegler and Andrés Rivera hard launch on Valentine’s Day.
In the wise words of Lizzo, it’s about damn time. The couple finally confirmed their relationship in a cute Valentine’s Day Instagram post.
March 2022: Zegler shouts out Andrés Rivera in her National Board of Review speech.
On March 18, 2022, Zegler was awarded Best Actress by the National Board of Review. She wasn’t in attendance, but her touching speech was more than enough. Zegler shared the speech on Twitter, which gave thanks to West Side Story but also shouted out her boyfriend.
In the speech, she said, “I wish to extend thanks to the love of my life, who I was blessed enough to meet on the set of the film many moons ago. Thank you for holding my hand in my dreams and in my reality. I love doing life with you. Thanks for making me laugh.” I guess you could say it was love at first sight, or as she confirmed, love at first set.
Late March 2022: They make their red carpet debut as a couple.
First the Instagram hard launch, now the red carpet hard launch. On March 27, 2022, Zegler and Rivera made their red carpet debut at none other than the Oscars— a totally casual first red-carpet appearance. Zegler commemorated the night with a sappy Instagram post where she wrote, “and forever thanks to my josh, for everything, always” and she referenced him as her “other half.”
Early April 2022: The high-profile red carpet appearances continue.
This couple is collecting award ceremonies like infinity stones. Zegler and Andrés Rivera made their next big high-profile award ceremony appearance on April 3, 2022, where they attended the Grammys hand-in-hand.
April 2022: Zegler opens up to Elle about her relationship.
On April 19, 2022, Zegler was featured in Elle’s Rising Star issue. In her cover story, she opened up about her rise to stardom in West Side Story and her struggles with opinions over her casting in the new Snow White adaptation. During her interview, Zegler opened up about her relationship with Andrés Rivera.
“There’s always this deep understanding of what I go through. Since [his experience was] on a different scale, he’s able to bring me back to earth and tell me when it really doesn’t matter,” she told Elle. “Because he’s removed from it to a certain degree, he’s able to just snap me out of it, and tell me to stop checking my phone, or remind me of what actually matters, and remind me to be present, and to not focus on the opinions of 3,000 faceless strangers on the internet.”
May 2022: Zegler wishes Andrés Rivera a Happy Birthday with an adorable Instagram post.
As if they couldn’t get any cuter, Zegler wished Andrés Rivera a Happy Birthday on May 1, 2022, with an endearing Instagram post.
June 2022: Zegler and Andrés Rivera are cast in Hunger Games prequel.
The dynamic duo make their return to the big screen in the Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. Before the official cast announcement, Zegler teased her role as Lucy Gray Baird on May 31. It was later announced that Andrés Rivera would be joining the cast as Sejanus Plinth, a Hunger Games mentor who befriends a young Coriolanus Snow. Zegler couldn’t contain her excitement and ran to Twitter to support her BF.
November 2022: Filming wraps on Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
The highly-anticipated prequel wrapped filming on Nov. 8, 2022 and Zegler shared a lengthy tribute where she, of course, shouted out her fellow co-star and boyfriend.
March 2023: Andrés Rivera gives supportive BF realness at the Shazam! Premiere.
Zegler landed a role in Shazam! Fury of the Gods as Anthea. At the film’s premiere on March 14, 2023, Andrés Rivera joined Zegler on the red carpet as he supported her next big role.
Late October 2023: The pair celebrate their two-year anniversary and take over Halloween.
With less than a month away from The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes release, all eyes are on Zegler and Andrés Rivera — and how cute they are. On Oct. 30, Zegler celebrated her two-year anniversary with Andrés Rivera via Instagram, confirming they started dating after filming for West Side Story wrapped.
On Halloween, the couple slayed Heidi Klum’s annual party with their Scooby Doo-inspired costumes. With press for their upcoming movie in full swing, this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing of this OTP.