In the first official trailer of the upcoming film “Judy,” directed by Rupert Goold, we are getting a glimpse of what the legendary movie star will look like on the screen adaptation of Peter Quilter’s musical “End of the Rainbow,” Entertainment Weekly reported Friday.
Zellweger, in her first leading role since 2016’s “Bridget Jones’s Baby,” portrays Garland one year before her death from an accidental drug overdose at age 47 in 1969 as the “Wizard of Oz” leading lady arrives in London to launch a comeback in a series of sold-out concerts at the Talk of the Town nightclub (now known as the Hippodrome).
People magazine reported that to prepare for the part, the 50-year-old Oscar winner took music lessons, studied choreography and read up about the actress and singer, who shot to fame as a child star, but struggled later in adulthood. She also spent two hours a day in the makeup chair getting prosthetics, contact lenses and wigs applied.
Zellweger, 50, told the outlet that the chance to play Garland was a “magical” experience.
“It was such a joy learning about the magnificence of this person,” Zellweger explained. “I always admired her. She was so quick and so funny. She could hit the ball back with the best of them.”
The publication shared that in addition to Zellweger, the movie stars Finn Wittrock as Garland’s fifth husband Mickey Deans, Rufus Sewell as her third husband Sid Luft, and Michael Gambon as her manager Bernard Delfont. Bella Ramsey plays Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft while Gemma-Leah Devereux plays her daughter Liza Minnelli.
“She was a great mother — incredibly loving, touchy-feeling and with a wicked sense of humor,” said the 66-year-old, per Closer Weekly.
“She understood about human frailties in other people and was very understanding,” continued Luft. “She hated discrimination and loved everyone. Both of my parents taught me kindness, understanding and not taking things for granted.”
The actress admitted that losing her mother so suddenly was incredibly difficult at such a young age.
“When she died, in the bathroom of her Chelsea mews house on June 22, 1969, the show and sense of loss were almost unbearable,” explained Luft. “Losing a parent at any age is devastating, but when you lose a parent who’s really, really famous, you have to share your grief with the rest of the world and that’s so strange. I just knew her as my mother, in the kitchen in a bathrobe, but to the world, she was an icon, a legend.”
“Judy” premieres Sept. 27.