You don’t just go and take on the role of beloved entertainer Judy Garland without doing any preparation. For Renee Zellweger, who’s starring in the biopic “Judy” this fall, getting ready to shoot the film became “a research project, really, and a love affair.”
But it did not allow for meeting with Garland’s children.
As Zellweger read and observed everything she could on Garland, “my intentions were to celebrate and adore her in this work, ” she told USA Today Thursday, ahead of the premiere of her Netflix show “What/If.”
Last year Liza Minnelli, Garland’s daughter, publicly stated that she was against the movie. “I have never met nor spoken to Renee Zellweger,” Minnelli wrote. “I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way.”
Zellweger confirms that she has not connected with Minnelli about the movie, but not for lack of trying.
“We have a really close mutual friend. One of my best friends, actually. And I had spoken with him about trying to find her. But, I guess I wasn’t successful in that,” Zellweger says about tracking down Minnelli.
If she had been able to speak with the family, “my intention was to share with (Garland’s children) how I perceived the project and what I was hoping from it, and to ask what they might hope from it,” she says.
The actress emphasizes that she had no intention of asking Garland’s children for details about their mother, who died of an accidental overdose in 1969 at age 47 in London.
“I feel like anything that she or that they would want to share about their mom and the world, they have shared. And anything that they’ve chosen to keep private is treasure, and I would never in my life imagine to impose in that way,” Zellweger says.