Liza Minnelli hopes Renee Zellweger had ‘good time’ playing Judy Garland

Liza Minnelli hopes Renee Zellweger had “a good time” playing her very “funny” mother Judy Garland in the film Judy.Renee is the favourite to win the Best Actress prize at the upcoming Academy Awards for her performance in Rupert Goold’s 2019 movie, wh…

Liza Minnelli hopes Renee Zellweger had “a good time” playing her very “funny” mother Judy Garland in the film Judy.

Renee is the favourite to win the Best Actress prize at the upcoming Academy Awards for her performance in Rupert Goold’s 2019 movie, which focuses on the actress/singer’s disastrous run at London’s Talk of the Town nightclub shortly before her death at the age of 47 in 1969.

Her daughter Liza has previously disavowed the project, and still hasn’t seen it, yet in a new interview with Variety, commented: “I hope (Renee) had a good time making it.”

When news broke that the Bridget Jones’s Diary star was involved in the project, Liza denied she had any involvement.

“I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger…,” the 73-year-old wrote on Facebook. “I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100 per cent fiction.”

The film delves into a dark period towards the end of Judy’s life, when she battled alcohol and substance abuse problems as well as financial woes.

But Liza, who won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in 1972’s Cabaret, is adamant she only has happy memories of her mother.

“We had such fun because she was so funny,” she explained. “She was funny, and she loved her kids so much. She was protective and very strict. She wanted you to do the right thing, like any mother. It’s that simple.”

Asked if she still feels her presence, Liza claimed she often asks her late mother for advice.

“When I call on her, she’s there, and I call on her a lot,” the actress added. “She’ll say, ‘Ignore it’, a lot. She’ll say, ‘It’s one opinion. Who cares? Just keep going.'”

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Renee Zellweger triumphs at 2019 British Independent Film Awards

Renee Zellweger’s awards season run is off to a great start as she won the Best Actress prize at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) on Sunday.The star claimed the honour for her lead role in Judy Garland biopic Judy, but she was not present at…

Renee Zellweger’s awards season run is off to a great start as she won the Best Actress prize at the British Independent Film Awards (BIFAs) on Sunday.

The star claimed the honour for her lead role in Judy Garland biopic Judy, but she was not present at the show, and the trophy was accepted on her behalf by the film’s producer, David Livingstone.

Backstage at the London event, David told WENN that Renee had skipped the ceremony to look after her sick dog Chester back home in Los Angeles.

It was also a big night for Syrian civil war film For Sama, which was named Best British Independent Film and Best Documentary, and earned Best Director for Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

The Personal History of David Copperfield was the night’s top winner, earning five awards in total, including Best Screenplay for Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell, and Best Supporting Actor for Hugh Laurie.

Meanwhile, Kristin Scott Thomas was presented with the 2019 Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film.

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best British Independent Film – For Sama

Best Director – Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, For Sama

Best Screenplay – Armando Iannucci, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Actress – Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actress – Ruthxjiah Bellenea, The Last Tree

Best Actor – Josh O’Connor, Only You

Best Supporting Actor – Hugh Laurie, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Most Promising Newcomer – Sam Adewunmi, The Last Tree

The Douglas Hickox Award (Best Debut Director) – Harry Wootliff, Only You

Debut Screenwriter – Emma Jane Unsworth, Animals

Breakthrough Producer – Kate Byers and Linn Waite, Bait

The Discovery Award – Children of the Snow Land

Best Documentary – For Sama

Best British Short Film – Anna

Best International Independent Film – Parasite

Best Casting – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Cinematography – Beats

Best Costume Design – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Editing – For Sama

Best Effects – A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Best Make Up & Hair Design – Judy

Best Music – Wild Rose

Best Production Design – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Sound – Beats

The Richard Harris Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor to British Film – Kristin Scott Thomas

The Special Jury Prize – Amanda Nevill

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Legendary photographer Terry O’Neill dies

Models and celebrities have paid tribute to photographer Terry O’Neill, who has died at the age of 81.A representative for Iconic Images, which licensed O’Neill’s pictures, announced over the weekend that the photographer had passed away on Saturday ni…

Models and celebrities have paid tribute to photographer Terry O’Neill, who has died at the age of 81.

A representative for Iconic Images, which licensed O’Neill’s pictures, announced over the weekend that the photographer had passed away on Saturday night following a long battle with cancer.

“Terry was a class act, quick-witted and filled with charm,” they commented. “Anyone who was lucky enough to know or work with him can attest to his generosity and modesty.

“As one of the most iconic photographers of the last 60 years, his legendary pictures will forever remain imprinted in our memories as well as in our hearts and minds.”

O’Neill rose to prominence in the ’60s, becoming one of the most sought-after photographers in London and working with subjects including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Judy Garland.

Over the next five decades, he developed close working relationships with pop stars like Elton John and David Bowie, and also shot members of Britain’s royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, and several statesmen and women, like Nelson Mandela.

Among his most notable recent works was an image of Amy Winehouse at the height of her fame in 2008.

Accordingly, a number of celebrities have honoured O’Neill’s memory, with Kate Moss posting a black-and-white image from an early 1990s photoshoot on her Instagram page and captioning it, “Farewell Terry,” alongside a red heart emoji.

Actress Joan Collins added, “So sorry to hear about the death of the talented #terryoneill – he photographed me several times and was always fun, entertaining and a great photographer,” and music icon John shared one of the iconic images O’Neill had taken of him during a concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles back in 1975.

“Terry O’Neill took the most iconic photographs of me throughout the years, completely capturing my moods,” he praised. “He was brilliant, funny and I absolutely loved his company. A real character who has now passed on. RIP you wonderful man.”

O’Neill was last seen publicly in October, when he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to photography by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.

He is survived by his third wife, Laraine Ashton, two children from his first marriage to actress Vera Day, and Liam, a son shared with his second wife, American actress Faye Dunaway.

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Renee Zellweger was ‘tired and skinny’ after filming Judy

Renee Zellweger was “tired and skinny” after she wrapped filming on Judy.The 50-year-old has won critical acclaim for her portrayal of late Hollywood icon Judy Garland in the biopic, which focuses on her residency at the Talk of the Town nightclub in L…

Renee Zellweger was “tired and skinny” after she wrapped filming on Judy.

The 50-year-old has won critical acclaim for her portrayal of late Hollywood icon Judy Garland in the biopic, which focuses on her residency at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London back in the late 1960s.

Opening up about how making the movie took its toll on her physically in a chat with InStyle magazine, Renee said she was in desperate need of some time off once production ended.

“I was tired and skinny when we finished this. The schedule is pretty punishing, but it’s finite. You know that after this series of months, you can catch up a little. But, yeah, this one was big. It was big because I was greedy. I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to keep digging,” she explained.

The Oscar winner even mastered the hunched posture that Judy had in her later years but confessed it was difficult to maintain while filming.

“We were just trying things, and so walking down that hall was just an ongoing conversation about the varying degrees of severity. How she gets from the bathroom to the stage, and making decisions about what to show when, and making sure there is continuity. There were multiple collaborations happening within my body at once,” the actress laughed.

Elsewhere in the interview, Renee discussed her determination to change the stigma of ageing in Hollywood.

“It’s a privilege. I’d rather celebrate each phase of my life and be present in it than mourn something that’s passed. I’d rather be a healthy, productive woman in each stage of my life than apologetic,” she insisted. “I also don’t want to perpetuate the notion that somehow moving forward in your life is wrong.”

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Renee Zellweger wishes she could convince Liza Minnelli to watch Judy

Renee Zellweger wishes she could convince Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli to watch her new biopic.The Oscar winner plays the troubled singer and actress in Judy, which focuses on The Wizard of Oz star’s sold-out concerts at the Talk of the Town n…

Renee Zellweger wishes she could convince Judy Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli to watch her new biopic.

The Oscar winner plays the troubled singer and actress in Judy, which focuses on The Wizard of Oz star’s sold-out concerts at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London in 1968.

Despite earning rave reviews, Minnelli publicly criticised the movie and refused to approve director Rupert Goold’s take on the last few months of her mother’s life. Posting on her Facebook page, she said she had never met Zellweger, and fired: “Any reports to the contrary are 100% fiction.”

The 50-year-old is keen to meet with the Cabaret star in an effort to convince her to watch the movie but concedes that the singer and actress would find any movie about her famous mother difficult.

“I wish she was here so we could chat!” Zellweger told British newspaper the Guardian and added that she tried to avoid an “impersonation” of Garland in the biopic.

“She’s such a legend. But there’s so much to the human being as well. You want her to come across as big as she was, but also show the woman… Her intelligence, determination, tenacity, hope. She never gave that up, no matter the circumstances,” she said of the movie icon, who tragically died after an accidental overdose in 1969 at the age of 47.

Elsewhere in the interview, Zellweger teased the possibility of reprising her role as plucky journalist Bridget Jones, adapted from author Helen Fielding ‘s 2013 novel, Mad About the Boy.

“I’m not being coy, I promise. I’m always the last to know… I do know that Helen has written a book, so maybe,” she shared.

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Judy Garland’s former assistant stunned by new biopic

Judy Garland’s one-time assistant Rosalyn Wilder has heaped praise on actress Jessie Buckley for nailing her character in the new biopic Judy.Producers tracked down Wilder, who was tasked with looking after the frail and insecure The Wizard of Oz star …

Judy Garland’s one-time assistant Rosalyn Wilder has heaped praise on actress Jessie Buckley for nailing her character in the new biopic Judy.

Producers tracked down Wilder, who was tasked with looking after the frail and insecure The Wizard of Oz star during her 1968 London residency in the months before she died, via a fanzine and asked her if she’d like to serve as a consultant on the new movie. Wilder agreed but had no idea she’d literally be coming face-to-face with her younger self on set.

“I saw Jessie and went, ‘Oh my goodness, there I am!'” she said in the film’s production notes. “Fortunately, Jessie is just amazing. She’s just extraordinary, she’s marvellous and I’m absolutely thrilled to pieces that she’s doing it.”

And the Wild Rose star was grateful to have Wilder there to guide her.

“It was a real gift to have her,” the actress explained. “The first time we met up for a cup of tea I just wanted to dig into as much of her experience and look for little nuances. She has the most immaculate nails in the world, so I immediately went out and bought some nail varnish!”

Meanwhile, Wilder also insisted Renee Zellweger nailed her role as Garland in the film, adding, “My first impressions of Judy Garland were that she was extremely tiny, very fragile, and rather quiet and that somehow one wanted to protect her. She wanted to be able to talk to you and to trust you.

“People are either stars or they’re not. People either walk in to a room and they’re important and you know they’re the centre of attention, or they’re not. Judy Garland was.

“Renee Zellweger has this unique ability to turn herself into whoever it is she’s asked to be. When I saw how the make-up and the dress transformed her, I was absolutely stunned. I had never seen such a transformation in my life. It was almost impossible to believe.”

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Renee Zellweger: ‘Judy Garland didn’t feel like a role’

Renee Zellweger didn’t feel like she was playing a role when she portrayed Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy. In the movie, the Bridget Jones’s Diary star plays the iconic singer/actress during the final months of her life in the late 1960s, whe…

Renee Zellweger didn’t feel like she was playing a role when she portrayed Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy.

In the movie, the Bridget Jones’s Diary star plays the iconic singer/actress during the final months of her life in the late 1960s, when she was hired to do a five-week run of performances at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London while battling alcohol and drug addiction.

At the film’s London premiere on Monday night, Renee told reporters that Garland didn’t feel like just another role to her because she immersed herself so completely in The Wizard of Oz star’s legacy.

“I didn’t feel like a role, it was just an exploration, you know,” she said. “(It was) an immersion into the legacy… that she left for all of us.”

Screenwriter Tom Edge, who adapted the musical stage production End of the Rainbow, studied archival footage of Garland to help write his screenplay and he believes Renee did a “remarkable job” capturing the icon. He also insisted that the 50-year-old deserves the Oscars buzz she’s receiving.

“The nicest thing about this whole process, has been watching the reviews come in for her,” he gushed to Cover Media. “She did so much work understanding her and working incredibly hard to learn Garland inside out and really get to know the heart and soul of her. But the performance she gives isn’t just an imitation of that. It feels to me something a lot deeper, with a lot more rawness to it. It’s kind of the meeting of a great actress with a great icon and I think the fact that she’s had so many plaudits for it is testament that she’s pulled off this little piece of alchemy.”

Judy, which also features Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, and Rufus Sewell, hits U.K. cinemas from 2 October.

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Renee Zellweger had to stand just like Judy Garland for costumes to fit

Renee Zellweger had to master Judy Garland’s posture for new biopic Judy because costume designer Jany Temime’s outfits wouldn’t fit if she stood up straight.Temime had worked with the actress on Bridget Jones’s Diary and kept in contact with her over …

Renee Zellweger had to master Judy Garland’s posture for new biopic Judy because costume designer Jany Temime’s outfits wouldn’t fit if she stood up straight.

Temime had worked with the actress on Bridget Jones’s Diary and kept in contact with her over the years, so she was thrilled when she got the call to dress her for Judy.

And Zellweger was just as excited to reteam with an old pal she knew could help her nail her portrayal of the big-screen icon.

“These costumes were on another level, and to be able to pull out one after the next and with such immaculate construction was amazing,” the 50-year-old shared in the film’s production notes. “Jany also fitted and built the dresses around Judy’s posture, which is a little bit different to mine, the way she carried herself, and so if I stand like I stand, the dresses don’t fit.”

Temime went on to explain that she also dressed Zellweger in outfits she felt the real Garland might have grabbed from film sets.

“I thought to dress her as if with leftovers from the films she did, because I think lots of actresses were taking home what they wore in the films,” the designer commented. “And I added my mum’s Chanel bag and Hermes scarf! Even in normal life, Judy Garland looked ready for any paparazzi.”

But Temime insisted the clothing only did part of the job – the rest was all Zellweger.

“She is such an incredible actress and she does Judy incredibly well. The first shot we had of her singing in her screen test, I was almost crying,” she gushed.

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Judy director Rupert Goold understands Liza Minnelli’s criticism of biopic

Judy director Rupert Goold understands why Liza Minnelli has criticised his movie about her mother Judy Garland.The biopic focuses on the Hollywood icon, played by Renee Zellweger, as she arrives in London in 1968 for a series of sell-out concerts.Last…

Judy director Rupert Goold understands why Liza Minnelli has criticised his movie about her mother Judy Garland.

The biopic focuses on the Hollywood icon, played by Renee Zellweger, as she arrives in London in 1968 for a series of sell-out concerts.

Last year, Minnelli made it clear that she was not on board with the project, which is an adaptation of the Olivier and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow.

The 73-year-old said she did “not approve nor sanction” the movie “in any way,” and hoped Hollywood doesn’t do “what they always do”.

As critics heap praise on Zellweger, who has been tipped as the favourite to land an Oscar for her portrayal of the troubled legend, director Goold defended Minnelli’s criticisms, and claimed he understood her concerns.

“I mean, if somebody made a movie about my mum, I would go, ‘That’s not the story I’d tell!’ It’s an invasion of privacy at some level, I suppose. And that’s the complexity of being a child of a star, is it’s somebody you want to own in an intimate personal way, yet is sort of in a gaudy way, like, public property,” he told Entertainment Tonight.

The British filmmaker hopes that once Garland’s eldest daughter sees his movie, her opinion will soften.

“I’ve got a friend, he’s a dancer and backing singer who had worked with Liza, and he said, ‘The thing about Liza is she’s incredibly passionate and emotional but also will really change her view.’ Not that Liza has been hostile to the movie, particularly, but I have every faith that she’ll see it and find it celebratory,” Goold shared.

Judy is now showing in U.S. cinemas.

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Renee Zellweger carefully researched Judy Garland to master biopic role

Renee Zellweger spent a year studying Judy Garland before playing the legendary singer and actress in a new film.The Cold Mountain star is receiving early Oscar buzz for her portrayal of the late star in Judy, and Renee has now insisted her committed r…

Renee Zellweger spent a year studying Judy Garland before playing the legendary singer and actress in a new film.

The Cold Mountain star is receiving early Oscar buzz for her portrayal of the late star in Judy, and Renee has now insisted her committed research had a lot to do with her nailing the role.

“I wanted to look at those in-between moments that seem to get left out when you’re telling the story of a person you think you know,” the actress told WENN. “I had many moments in the car when, for that whole year, Judy was riding shotgun. I listened to her music and her speaking, I researched the stories – the whole thing.

“It was such a process, getting as close as we could to creating a believable likeness without stepping over into something that felt like it was inauthentic.”

She also took regular singing lessons to strengthen her voice, so she could hit Garland’s notes during performance scenes in the film.

“I’ve never been asked to sing several belters in a row, let alone do a live performance anywhere,” the 50-year-old added. “I just figured we’d start a year before and work regularly to see if there was any truth to the saying that you really can strengthen your vocal cords like any other muscle.

“The big thing to remember was that I wasn’t doing an impersonation or trying to emulate this great icon. I started with a voice coach, Eric Vetro, in Los Angeles; he’s an old pal and I love him, so any excuse to stand next to his piano and hang out with his poodle, Belle, is a good one!

“Then I came over to London and I worked with Eric on Facetime and with Mark Meylan at his studio. Mark actually came to set quite a few times to make sure that I didn’t damage myself, because if you could do it to your voice, I did it during this process! There was laryngitis, vocal strain, inflammation, and plain old fatigue.

“Throughout, I continued training with Matt Dunkley, our genius maestro musical director. Those people I worked with took all the fear out of it. I didn’t have time to think about being judged; I just had to hush the critics in my head.”

Meanwhile, Dunkley has credited Zellweger with mastering a completely different vocal style for the role: “She trained with a speaking voice coach to get the sound of Judy’s voice and her pronunciation and she worked with a choreographer to get her mannerisms, but Renee naturally has a higher voice – what we call a head voice – whereas Judy, at this stage of her life, had a very low voice, down in the chest, so we worked with Renee to get her singing in that way. She’s done a remarkable job.”

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