Why Renée Zellweger Thought Her Prosthetic Body Suit In The Thing About Pam Was So 'Important’ For The Role

Screenshot of Renee Zellweger in The Thing About Pam
(Image credit: NBC)

Playing a real-life person can be a challenge for any actor, but Renée Zellweger is more than up to the challenge. For the NBC miniseries The Thing About Pam, Zellweger became infamous murdering mother Pam Hupp. Of course, the actress looked nothing like the murderer, so some television magic came together to transform her into Hupp, which included putting on a prosthetic bodysuit. Zellweger explained why the bodysuit was so important in becoming the murderous suburbanite.  

The two-time Oscar winner was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight, where she opened up about her transformation into the murderous mom. Renée Zellweger was amazed the first time she saw herself as Pam Hupp. She admitted to having no expectations when it came to the prosthetics before calling the results “remarkable.” Renee Zellweger spilled why the face and bodysuit were important to nailing the role of the manipulative friend:

The idea is to be accurate, the idea is accuracy. I think, especially in the case of telling this story, it was really important to as closely resemble Pam Hupp as we possibly could, because she seems so familiar, she seems like someone that we recognize, and we know.

Portraying a real-life person can be difficult, so nailing the look can strike the right chord for an actor. The prosthetic suit did that for Renée Zellweger in channeling Pam Hupp. In the same interview, the Judy star (who had to sing for that particular role) recalled how putting on the bodysuit was key to a better understanding of Hupp’s mindset and personality.

In order for you to better understand how possible it might be that people would project onto her who they are sure that she might be or what kind of person she might, it just seemed really important that we got as close to that as we could.

Taking on someone so infamous required Zellweger to become Hupp from every angle, including her appearance. The actress’ commitment to take on the mom-turned-murderer was nothing new for her given her reputation for changing every inch of personality for the part.

Changing her body for a role – fake or otherwise – wasn’t new for the two-time Oscar winner. One of her most beloved roles was British reporter Bridget Jones in the popular Bridget Jones franchise, which was too real for her boyfriend Ant Anstead. Zellweger would gain weight every time she did another film, but as soon as filming was over, she had to lose the weight for the next part.

Pamela Hupp is just the latest real-life personality Renée Zellweger has taken on. Of course, Zellweger won her second Oscar for playing music and screen legend Judy Garland in the biopic Judy. She took on the role of children’s author Beatrix Potter in the 2006 film Miss Potter. For both roles, the Bridget Jones’ Diary star even went as far as to channel both women’s distinct accents.

While Renée Zellweger’s look nailed down Pam Hupp physically, The Thing About Pam will see her tackling the story of the suburban mom who allegedly murdered her friend and neighbor Betsy Faria (played by Katy Mixon) and framed Faria’s husband Russ (played by Glenn Fleischer) in the process. The miniseries is based on the murder mystery podcast of the same name.

The series is one of many TV premieres set to happen this spring. It will premiere on March 8 on NBC at 10 pm EST.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).