Driving her dog Chester to the vet from her Quinebag Riverfront mansion at Pomfret Center in the Connecticut countryside, newly minted second Oscar winner Renée Zellweger was listening intently to a podcast. She had passed it on to her partner at her Big Picture Co. production company and it was about a crime that occurred in Missouri in 2016.
Determined to join the wave of stars that produce the series and films in which they star, Zellweger had been associated some time ago with Carmella Casinelli, who began her career improving scripts to later become a producer of films such as the family you choose Y Walt Before Mickey and soon got a contract with MGM television.
However, when she heard the story of how a friendly woman named Pam Hupp cold-bloodedly murdered a terminally ill friend to collect on her life insurance, accusing her husband of it and testifying against him at the murder trial, Zellweger he knew he had found his next role. Speaking to ABC, he explained: “I was talking to the podcast like I was watching TV and yelling at the newscaster. Chester kept his head up all the time because he thought she was talking to him. The truth is that I had a lot of questions and I knew that I wanted to explore the story much further. I felt like it was a project I wanted to get involved with.” And so he did.
Logically, when they found out on NBC, where they had made the podcast, that Renée wanted to play Hupp, they never questioned the enormous physical differences between the two. However, when The Thing About Pam was officially presented by the powerful network to American television critics earlier this year, there were no shortage of questions about why they had not chosen to hire an actress who had an obese figure like that of the murderer.
Roll with Michael Patrick King, director of ‘Sex and the City’, the comedy ‘The back nine’
Christ McCumber, producer for one of the companies involved in the making, Blumhouse Television, responded candidly: “In these competitive times, having an artist of Renée’s caliber gives you an incredible advantage. If an actress who has won two Oscars calls you and says: ‘I’m obsessed with this story, I want to play Pam and also produce’, you simply say: ‘Yes, yes, yes and yes’. And our job, at that point, is to give Renée and the rest of the team all the tools they need to transform into their characters.”
Although Zellweger had already gained considerably in weight twice to play Bridget Jones, due to the problems that those experiences generated in the years that followed, she chose to appear many extra kilos with the help of makeup and prosthetic elements.
Arjen Tuiten, a Dutch specialist who trained with such greats as Stan Winson and Rick Baker and worked on blockbusters of the stature of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines , The Pan’s Labyrinth Y maleficent , studied videos of Hupp to analyze his expressions, see how he moved his arms and if he had undergone cosmetic surgery. She ultimately devised a system that required Zellweger to sit in her chair for 1 hour and 20 minutes each day of filming in which she transformed her face but without removing the actress’s own features. Only when she finished with Tuiten, Renée was assisted by hair, wardrobe and makeup specialists, with whom she spent another long time.
So much dedication on the part of the actress had to do with her conviction that Hupp managed to deceive judges and prosecutors because her image did not match what we can imagine of a murderer: “We are talking about a person who looks like someone in whom we can project easily who we imagine she is: a kind, sweet, funny and warm woman. That’s why nobody noticed things that in other circumstances would have been considered peculiar behavior, ”she explained to ABC.
After suffering problems from gaining weight in the past, to play an obese woman, she opted for prosthetics and makeup
All their efforts were not enough, however, for The Thing About Pam would become a success. The miniseries, which after airing on NBC can be seen in its entirety in the United States on the Hulu platform, was mistreated by critics, so the chances of the actress getting an Emmy or Golden Globe nomination for her transformation are very high. limited.
Still, Zellweger continues to look for challenges, which is why he is currently working with the director of the two films of sex in new york Michael Patrick King, in a comedy, The Back Nine, about a golfer who gave up her career so her husband could have his and when her marriage falls apart she decides to get it back.
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Renée Zellweger looks for challenges