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Renée Zellweger: I looked so like Judy Garland, I didn’t think it was really me

© Pathe/PA WireOscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger in character as Judy Garland in a new biopic which is based on the true story of the Hollywood icon's final concerts in London.
Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger in character as Judy Garland in a new biopic which is based on the true story of the Hollywood icon's final concerts in London.

Actress Renee Zellweger has spoken of her incredible transformation to play Judy Garland.

The star is being tipped for an Oscar for her turn as the troubled star and says even she was surprised by how much she resembled her on screen, complete with prosthetic nose, wig and coloured contact lenses.

She said: “I went, ‘Wow!’ Jeez, Judy’s features and her defining physical characteristics were instantly recognisable. It felt like it wasn’t me underneath the wig and makeup.

“Every day it was denial. I couldn’t believe it was me.”

The film, Judy, which comes out next month focuses on the last six months of the tragic star’s life.

It is set in 1968, as a 46-year-old Garland arrives in London for a five-week run of sold-out shows at the Talk of the Town.

During that time she succumbed to alcohol and pills and sometimes could not perform.

For Renee, 50, who also sings in Judy, the film marks her return to the Hollywood A-list after a period when she stopped making films.

She stopped making films and attending premieres in 2010, but eased herself back into movies in 2016 with Bridget Jones’ Baby.

She said: “I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I recognised that I spent 99% of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life.

“I needed to know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance,” said the Hollywood star.