One of the most anticipated films showcased at the Toronto International Film Festival is “Judy”, starring Renée Zellweger as Hollywood icon Judy Garland.
One of the film’s most striking moments comes during a concert sequence when Zellweger channels Garland to perform “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, which she first sang as a teenager in “The Wizard Of Oz” yet later took on a far deeper poignancy in her later years as her signature song.
ET Canada‘s Sangita Patel spoke with Zellweger on the TIFF red carpet, noting how her performance of that song in the film both “defines Judy Garland, it defines her moment in her life and it defines you in this movie,” asking Zellweger what it was like to perform the beloved song.
“That was quite a day. It was the end of the live-performance sequences that I’d been sharing all week with 300 actors who were playing the audience, sort of like this final moment of celebration that was shared between us,” she explained.
“All of our affection and admiration for Judy sort of felt very alive in that moment, and thinking of what that song meant to her at that time in her life, and the nostalgia we all sort of feel about it now,” Zellweger added.
“It sort of changes form as we go through our lives,” she said. “It just touched us very deeply.”
Patel also caught up with Zellweger’s co-star Finn Wittrock, who plays Garland’s fifth and final husband, Mickey Dean. He recalled how special it was watching her perform that song for the film.
As he explained, movie extras “usually show up with their laptops and their books and they kinda hang out, and when she finished her song, the entire audience of background extras stood up and applauded.”
He added: “And they did it, like, nine times, and the sound guy was like, ‘Can you stop those guys from doing that, because it’s ruining my sound.’ They thought they were getting a free show. They couldn’t believe they were being paid to see her perform.”
“Judy” is in theatres now.