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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