You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Renee Zellweger on Her ‘Judy’ Duet With Rufus Wainwright

Renée Zellweger’s transformation into Judy Garland for biopic “Judy” has pulled in several other big names eager to celebrate the ruby-slippered icon. Musicians Sam Smith and Rufus Wainwright will be joining Zellweger on the “Judy” soundtrack for separate duets.

Wainwright, another self-proclaimed Garland super-fan, will pair with Zellweger on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

“I joked around, we’ve been singing together for years,” Zellweger told Variety at the Toronto Film Festival Studio presented by AT&T. “You should hear our harmony on ‘Poses’ especially on Laurel Canyon with the window down — it’s amazing.”

This is not the first time we’ve heard Zellweger sing — the actress was nominated for an Oscar after her performance of Roxie Hart in the movie musical “Chicago.” But in “Judy,” Zellweger isn’t singing as herself but as Garland, a woman whose sound filled Carnegie Hall. Zellweger knew she had to put in the time to find that legendary sound, so the production booked time at the famous Abbey Road studio to focus on her musical metamorphosis.

“I tried to intellectualize it rather than look from an emotional place because I think that would have been a little too … daunting,” Zellweger explained. “So just breaking it down in terms of style, pitch, where her register was at this particular time and the damage and all that stuff. And then it just took [director] Rupert [Goold] insisting again and again, ‘No you really do need to sing this.’”

“Judy” the movie, and the soundtrack, will be released on September 27.


More Music

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Phillip Kovac, Concert Industry Veteran, Dies at 65

    Phillip Kovac, a veteran concert promoter, transportation executive and music manager, died in Los Angeles following a battle with PSP, a rare form of Parkinson’s. He was 65. The brother of longtime Motley Crue manager and Eleven Seven Music Group CEO Allen Kovac, Phillip was laid to rest at his home in Houston Texas on [...]

  • Soft Power review

    Off Broadway Review: 'Soft Power'

    The “culture-clash musical” is a familiar template, in which a white American protagonist — waving the flag of individuality, optimism and freedom — trumps and tramps over the complexities of that which is foreign, challenging or “other.” David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power,” the new “play with a musical” at Off Broadway’s Public [...]

  • Brandi Carlile Gets Red-Hot and 'Blue'

    Brandi Carlile Gets Red-Hot and 'Blue' Saluting Joni Mitchell at Disney Hall

    If nothing else was established by Brandi Carlile’s live recreation of Joni Mitchell’s 1971 “Blue” album — and plenty else was — it was that the 38-year-old singer has nerves even steelier than her vocal cords are pliable. Mitchell is as impossible to emulate as a ridiculously tricky singer, songwriter and picker as they come, which [...]

  • Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for

    Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for New Studio Album

    Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. The still-untitled album, Wainwright’s ninth of original material and first since 2012, is described in the announcement as “a return to form and his most accessible album to date.” To that end, it is “the bookend” to [...]

  • E23071117.JPGMÉXICO, D.F., Decease-Artist/Deceso-Artistas.- Existe el mito

    Janis Joplin Biographer Explores the Legend's Love of Musical Desegregation

    New York Times bestselling author Holly George-Warren had an intimate discussion with moderator Scott Goldman at the Grammy Museum on Monday, discussing her new book “Janis: Her Life and Music,” which was followed by a special performance by the singer Pearl. The book was released in October, preceding likely interest in a film adaptation of [...]

  • Jagged Little Pill Business of Broadway

    Listen: How 'Jagged Little Pill' Will Rock Broadway

    “Jagged Little Pill” wasn’t originally written with Broadway in mind — but the songs on Alanis Morissette’s smash-hit 1995 album do exactly what good musical theater songs should do, according to the upcoming show’s creators and producers. Listen to this week’s podcast below: The team explained why on Variety‘s theater podcast, “Stagecraft,” in an episode [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content