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Oscar Winner Renee Zellweger Exclusive (Audio Interview)



Q. I loved you in JUDY. I have to say that it's, I mean, absolutely amazing performance and amazing film. So, basically, you became an extension of Judy in the film. It's almost like she transcended with you in the film. And what I want to know is, how did you connect? What was it about Judy that connected you so closely by so in heart that you basically became her? I know you've done a lot of research, but was there anything else that you felt very close to with her that you were able to deliver such an incredible performance and become her, essentially? A. That's really kind. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. You know, I can't think about it. I can't extract myself from the collaboration. The only things that I would do by myself are sing in the car on the 405 in traffic, you know, for a year. So that was a lot of practice for anybody who's tried to drive down the 405. But -- and, you know, the reading and things, that was by myself. But what you're talking about, that connectivity, that was a consequence of everybody's work on that set. Everybody was motivated by the same thing. We just appreciate the importance of her legacy and who she was as a person and we all wanted to celebrate her. And everyday we came to work and we just tried things, we just kept trying things. And the director, Rupert Goold, called it "mining for treasure." We were all digging around in sort of the materials of her legacy, her music, her books, interviews, her television show. You know, just everything that we could find that seemed essential in conjuring her essence to tell the story. And that was everybody's work, you know. And it was, you know, the partnership with every single department throughout. And it really was a celebration. We just came to work every day. You could feel the love, the love for Ms. Garland, and that was what we had hoped, so -- And I thank you for your question.

Q. Thank you so much for your performance. A. Oh, thank you. That's kind. Thank you.

Q. So have you called anyone? Who are you going to call first and how are you going to celebrate tonight? A. Well, my phone is in somebody else's bag right now. So I haven't called anybody. But I know that my mom is with my dad and they're hanging out with their friends and they were watching TV and I told her, "Please just keep your phone on the coffee table so you can" -- so she's waiting. So I'm going to -- yeah.

Q. Renée, congratulations. I'm so proud of you. A. Thank you, Jeanne, my old pal.

Q. All right. They say that we learn a great deal in the hard times of life, but I think we learn a great deal also from success. From almost before this picture opened, people realized and began talking about how amazing your performance is, how amazing the movie is. So you've gone through this whole award after award, you know, expressions of success. How has that changed you? What has that done for you to know that you set out to do this and you did it? A. Thank you. That's a really great question. It's not something that I've actually thought about, you know. I wish I could answer you in a couple of days because I would sit with that for a second and I would really think on it, you know. Off the top of my head, if I could look back on this year of experiences, it's really nice when something that really matters to you resonates with someone else. That's -- you know, it's always a huge, wonderful kind of unexpected reaction to -- I don't know, for anyone who creates art. You write an article and somebody calls you and says, that touched me or -- you know? So it's a really nice thing and it makes me happy for everybody that, you know, that I worked with, because I watched how hard everyone worked. It always goes back to that. It always goes back to the collaboration and what you intended and what you hoped for it. And like you said, when it becomes meaningful to someone else, and it's kind of a confirmation that, "Yeah, okay, that's what we meant," you know. And this definitely was not what was on my mind when we started this experience, you know. But in my mind, when I go back to those couple of years that we shared celebrating her and telling the story and building toward it, boy, that's the blessing, isn't it? Yeah.

Q. How is this award different from the first one you won in 2004, and how have you changed as a person, as an actress? A. Oh, my goodness, how much time do you have? Well, at that time, I think I was so busy that I wasn't actually in the moment. I think I had just flown home from something for BRIDGET JONES two or something. It's different, different perspective. I'm a little more present now. I think that the time away and the time in between has helped me to appreciate it in a different way. I just look at it in a different way, what it represents is a little bit different. And, obviously, this isn't ultimately -- you know, this is about this wanting to tell that story and to celebrate Judy Garland and to shine a light on, perhaps, the nuances of the circumstances of her life, which people dismiss as tragic. And, you know, the opportunity to tell a story that challenges that narrative and says, "Oh, no, no, no, no, you can't know how extraordinary a person is until you know what they struggle with and what they overcome." And, to me, that, you know, that's what this is.

Q. Thank you, so much. Congratulations. A. Thank you, guys. Thanks so much. And good luck. My goodness, what a busy night for you all. I know you have deadlines, so good luck with those.

Transcript Copyright: The 92nd Academy Awards®. All content Copyright 2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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