Some of the people who knew Judy Garland are just as happy with Rénee Zellweger’s portrayal in “Judy” as the critics are.
Zellweger has been earning some serious Oscars buzz thanks to her take on Garland in the biopic. One person who has nothing but compliments for Zellweger is Garland’s “Meet Me in St. Louis” co-star Margaret O’Brien.
“Renée Zellweger’s performance was fabulous,” O’Brien recently told Entertainment Weekly. O’Brien, 82, noted how the Garland portrayed in the film was an older Garland than the one O’Brien worked with.
“Hers was the later Judy. Not the Judy I knew,” the Oscar-winning actress explained. “Hers was more after things had gone wrong in life. Certain things had gone wrong — career things, money things.”
“That was more that side of Judy in the later years,” O’Brien continued. “But the Judy I saw was in the happy years, and I’m glad I did see that part of Judy.”
O’Brien hopes Zellweger’s performance renews attention to how Garland was snubbed for an Oscar in the 1954 adaptation of “A Star is Born”. Garland was a hot contender to win Best Actress but lost to Grace Kelly in “The Country Girl”.
In fact, “A Star is Born” was nominated for six Academy Awards that year but failed to take home a single one.
“I hope she gets the Academy Award,” O’Brien said of Zellweger. “I really do. I think that’ll make up a little bit when Judy should have had the award. That was I think everybody’s greatest disappointment.”
“People realize today that was sort of a travesty that she did not get the award,” she elaborated. “So I’m hoping that it does not happen to Renée Zellweger and that she gets the award this time to make up a little bit for Judy not getting it.”
“Judy” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30 before hitting North American theatres on Sept. 27.