Portraying a cultural icon for a feature film can be among an actor’s greatest challenges. And it looks like actor Renée Zellweger is ready to take on Judy Garland in her upcoming film!
Back in October, the announcement was made that Zellweger will star in “Judy,” a biopic highlighting Garland’s life and career 30 years after her star-making performance at age 13 as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” “Judy” is set in the winter of 1968, a time when an “exhausted” Garland prepares to perform a number of sold-out concerts in London.
It was announced on March 19 via the official Twitter account for “Judy” that principal photography on the film began. They also shared a stunning photo of Zellweger’s transformation into Judy Garland.
#JUDY starts principal photography in London today, starring Academy Award winner, Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland!#judygarland #reneezellweger #london #thetalkofthetown #jessiebuckley #finnwittrock #michaelgambon #rupertgoold #pathe #calamityfilms #bbcfilms #ingenious pic.twitter.com/VJAnMRuzKV
— Judy (@JudyGarlandFilm) March 19, 2018
If you’re not entirely familiar with Garland during her later years, perhaps this side by side image posted by Buzzfeed senior editor Jared Wiselman will help give you an idea of how Zellweger nailed it.
Renée Zellweger is playing Judy Garland in a new movie about the icon's final concerts in London — get ready for the Renéessance!!! pic.twitter.com/EqmbCpnTRm
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 19, 2018
The resemblance is remarkable, isn’t it?
Zellweger is no stranger to singing and dancing for a role. Do you remember her portrayal of Roxie Hart in “Chicago?”
Based on that performance alone, we’d say Zellweger is up to the challenge of playing one of the most beloved movie stars of all time.
Biopic To Shine Spotlight On Garland’s Troubled Times
Judy Garland’s later years were filled with struggle and “Judy” will shine the spotlight on this difficult period. After “The Wizard of Oz,” debuted in 1939, Garland went on to star in many movies, including “Strike Up the Band,” “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Babes in Broadway,” and “For Me and My Gal” with Gene Kelly.
However, by 1950, Garland struggled with a grueling work schedule, along with the pressures of keeping up her appearance and singing voice. She started to be known for missing appointments, rehearsals and even filming schedules. Eventually, MGM Studios dropped Garland’s contract in 1950.
Despite a worsening addiction to barbiturates, Garland transitioned into concert performer and TV star. By the time she went to London in 1968 for her live shows, her body and emotional state were showing strain.
On June 22, 1969, at the age of 47, Garland died from what investigators called an accidental drug overdose.
Are you looking forward to this movie about Garland’s life and career?