One of the most important jobs of any actor is the ability to transform into anyone else, and sometimes, this includes physical changes. From major weight loss or gains to prosthetic props such as makeup and wigs, actors are transformed into unforgettable characters.
Renowned Hollywood actress Renée Zellweger is one who has undergone many transformations in her long successful career. Over the years, the actress has been able to take on characters and slip into them seamlessly. In fact, she has undergone subtle to dramatic physical transformation and other prosthetic changes that have rendered her unrecognizable.
Recently, she shared how she has been able to take in characters and perform excellently while at it. Read on for more information.
‘Physical Transformations Feel Like A Safe Space’
While speaking to People about her show “The Thing About Pam” at a For Your Consideration event, Zellweger shared how she was able to undergo the on-screen transformation for her characters over the years.
“It is just another tool really, isn’t it, to have the presentation match the narrative,” Zellweger began, “I enjoy it because it makes it easier to transcend when you’re telling the story on the day. I love it because it feels like a safe space to hide.”
She continued, “I like [transforming myself] because the process is, when you are preparing, it is sort of a series of goals that you’re trying to create this space, where you can tell the story, and that’s such a big part of it. And when it starts to come together, you can just tick the boxes as you get closer and closer to what it is, to create this space to tell the story. So it just feels like, I don’t know, that you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to do as it starts to come together and it’s very helpful.”
Zellweger Laughed When She First Took On The Character In ‘The Thing About Pam’
In “The Thing About Pam,” Zellweger plays real life criminal Pam Hupp, a businesswoman who got arrested and convicted for the murder of Betsy Faria.
“The Bridget Jones’ Diary” actress shared that when she initially got into her character for the NBC miniseries, she burst into laughter because she was amazed.
“I was amazed at what they were able to achieve, what Arian [Titan, who designed the prosthetics] was able to achieve with his team of geniuses.”
She added that the genius created something breathtaking out of nothing. “It was really cool that they tried to create an approximation that would be appropriate in telling this story.”
Zellweger Was Able To Set Aside Any Bias While Preparing For The Role Of Hupp
While Zellweger might feel a certain way about the murders of her character, she does not say it. She mentioned that she set aside any judgment for the role, which might hamper her acting skills.
“I just ask questions really,” she tells the outlet. “I am just trying to understand the circumstances surrounding the bigger picture of the story, the specifics, trying to understand the motivation for certain choices.”
She continued, “It’s more of an exploration than it is trying to avoid making judgments or paying attention to what judgements I might be making. I’m more just trying to collect information and stockpile it, so that I can reference it when I need to.”
Zellweger added that the story was fascinating, which was why many people were drawn to it. Despite that, the Oscar winner chose to focus on facts.
“There was a lot to look into, to try to better understand how the events led to the places that they did. I think I was more obsessed with seeing if there was anything that I was missing than I was with trying to make a judgment about any of it.”
About Her On-screen Transformation In “The Thing About Pam”
She spoke to E! Daily Pop about the numerous hours she spent on makeup to transform into Hupp.
“We started at about four and we whittled it down to around two. They have a mind of their own, you know? If everybody cooperates—[if] the cheeks are feeling like playing nice, the nose, and everything. But yeah, it took about a couple of hours.”
She also described the transformation she underwent as “thrilling.”
“I had never done that before,” she said. “It was kinda fun to learn about it. I didn’t know that trying to tell a story and act with the prosthetics on is a whole different thing. I didn’t know it was a skill that I didn’t have!”
She also lent credence to the genius behind the makeup creativity via Today, adding that he got every detail “down to the last freckle.”
“It’s an excellent place to hide behind,” she retorted. “Two pounds of latex and you’re hid.”