In Judy, Renée Zellweger took on the almost insurmountable task of paying homage to one of Hollywood’s most iconic figures. In order to bring Judy Garland’s last years to life on screen in a way that was both respectful and honest, she had to immerse herself in the details of the late actress’ life. But even she still has questions about Judy Garland that she wishes she could ask.
Though anyone who follows movies at all has likely heard of Judy Garland, much of her life has become something of a legend. We know as much about the trials and tribulations of her personal life as we do about her career highlights. Renee Zellweger has made it clear that she spent quite a bit of time delving deeper into the singer’s life, to learn more about who she was. And despite all the attention to detail, the Judy actress told Forbes she still has at least one big question she'd ask Garland if she could:
Who was the love of her life? The ultimate love of her life.
Judy Garland was married five times -- to David Rose, Vincente Minnelli, Sidney Luft, Mark Herron, and finally to Mickey Deans just a few months before her death at age 47 in 1969. Garland had three children, including fellow performers Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft.
While Judy is a tried and true biopic, in that it covers the full spectrum of Judy Garland’s life and career, it does not focus much on her love life. Rather, it pays particularly close attention to her final years, when she moved from the US to the UK to try and revive her career. And in doing so, it pulls back the curtain on aspects of her life that have been gossiped about for decades -- namely, her addictions. While those aspects of her life are undoubtedly sad, Renée Zellweger has also gained respect for Judy Garland after realizing how much she went through:
I learned a lot about things I didn’t know about Judy's life at that time. And I came to admire her even more deeply than I did before. I came to understand what she had to overcome again and again in order to continue to perform on the highest levels for such an extended period of time. Coming to know about that, you look at her differently. It's not tragic, but triumphant.
Though it’s impossible to ever know exactly what life must have been like for Judy Garland, Renée Zellweger was able to draw from her own experiences while she was portraying the actress. She, too, has faced public scrutiny for her appearance, her personality, her love life, and her career choices. So she knows what a challenge it can be (via People):
I have a little bit of understanding about what it’s like to live with a public persona. I understand the vast gulf between what is written about that persona and the truth of their life.
Renee Zellweger is nominated for Best Actress at this year’s Academy Awards for her performance in Judy and she's considered a favorite to win.