The 50-year-old actor, best known for her title role in the Bridget Jones film franchise, said she had to be sewn into every costume she wore in order to mimic Garlands trademark hunched posture.
Stewart Clarke International Correspondent @varietystewart FOLLOW Stewart's Most Recent Stories ‘Judy’ Producer on Renee Zellweger’s Performance: ‘People Had Forgotten She Could Sing’ New Walking Dead Series Lands at Amazon, AMC in International Markets BBC Revamping iPlayer, Says It Will Be the Heart of Everything We Do View All Facebook Twitter Reddit Email Show more sharing options LinkedIn WhatsApp Print Pin It Tumblr CREDIT: Michelle Quance/Variety/Shutterstock “I knew she had the chops – she could do drama, had won an Oscar for drama, can do comedy, and had an Oscar nomination for ‘Chicago,’” says David Livingstone of Renee Zellweger’s turn in “Judy,” which he produced under his Calamity Films banner.
Judy slouched a little and the dresses were made so that I couldnt have stood any other way, Zellweger said during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show on Friday night.
I was literally sewn into them, she said. It was a great reminder during the day if you got lazy because you had no option but to stand like her. The sequins were very strict!
Zellweger previously told Variety magazine last month that mimicking Judys hunched posture saw her visiting a chiropractor a few times while shooting in London.
Garlands posture was said to have been caused by a slight curvature of the spine, according to her biographers, a condition otherwise known as scoliosis.
Princess Eugenie has spoken about suffering from scoliosis, and had her wedding dress cut low so she could reveal her childhood back surgery scars. Garlands daughter Liza Minnelli also suffers from the condition, mentioning in interviews that it affects how she moves on stage.
Zellweger is far from being the first actor to be sewn into her costumes on set. Olivia Newton-John wore skin-tight leather trousers for her role as Sandy in Grease that were so close-fitting she had to be sewn into them.
It was the 70s [when Grease was filmed, and] those pants were from the 50s. They were old already and the zipper was gone, so they stitched me in, Newton-John told People. Of course, you can imagine: Id have to pee, [so] they had to unpick it and stitch me up again!
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Renee Zellweger has skyrocketed to the top of our Best Actress Oscar chart for a critically acclaimed performance in “Judy.” She is being hailed for her nuanced portrayal of the mercurial talent that was Judy Garland. If Zellweger prevails at the Oscars next February 9, she’ll be 11 weeks shy of her 51st birthday. In youth-obsessed Hollywood, that would make her the 10th oldest Best Actress winner in the 91-year history of the Academy Awards. Zellweger would bump Shirley Maclaine, who was just two weeks from turning 50 when she won in 1984 for “Terms of Endearment,” out of the Top 10. (By comparison, 20 of the Best Actor winners have been over 50.)
Only two women were in in their 50s when they collected Oscars for their leading roles. Both Shirley Booth (“Come Back, Little Sheba”) and Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”) were 54 when they won. Booth was the older of the two by 120 days when she added an Oscar in 1953 to go with the Tony she had taken home for creating this role.
Another Tony champ, Jessica Tandy, ranks as the oldest-ever winner of the Best Actress Oscars. She was 80 years and 292 days when she took home the Oscar in 1990 for “Driving Miss Daisy.” That eclipsed the mark set by Katharine Hepburn, who was 74 years and 321 days when she won her record fourth Best Actress Academy Award for “On Golden Pond” in 1982.
Hepburn racked up her third win at age 61 years and 337 days for “The Lion in Winter” in 1969 and her second the year before for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” (Conversely, she ranks as sixth youngest for her first win at age 26 years, 308 days for “Morning Glory” back in 1934).
Marie Dressler was just a day over 63 when she won this award at the 4th Academy Awards way back in 1931 for “Min and Bill.”
Meryl Streep had to wait till she was 62 years (and 249 days) in 2012 to finally win her third Oscar (for “The Iron Lady”), having claimed her second (for “Sophie’s Choice”) in 1983.
Garland won the hearts of millions of fans around the world with her repertoire of stage and screen performances, channelling her wit, warmth and incredible vocal ability. Yet by 1969, Garland was a shadow of the child star she was in the 1930s. A life of heavy drinking made her unreliable to work with, leading her into massive debt.
Helen Mirren was 61 years and 214 days when she reigned over the 2007 Oscars for her performance in “The Queen.” That puts her in sixth place as she was 92 days older than Geraldine Page was when she won in 1986 for “The Trip to Bountiful.”
And Frances McDormand was 60 years and 254 days old when she won her second Best Actress award two years ago for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to join the one that she picked up for “Fargo” in 1997.