Actress Renée Zellweger won an Academy Award in February for her portrayal of the Hollywood icon in the film Judy. The movie follows Garland in the rocky final months of her life in 1969, performing sold-out shows at a nightclub in London.
“I tried not to think too much about the obvious, which is how adored Judy is and has been through generations,” Zellweger, 50, told PEOPLE of getting in character. “I tried to take that off the table and look at it as an exploration of trying to understand the human experience on the other side of that stardom … otherwise I would have just run away.”
She added: “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.”
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