A large part of Renée Zellweger’s preparation process in playing Judy Garland in the forthcoming biopic was learning about the iconic performer’s tragic backstory. “You couldn’t fully recognize how extraordinary a person she was without knowing the circumstances that she was challenged by during this period of her life,” Zellweger told Variety. “I think when you recognize what she was able to achieve in spite of those challenges, that’s when it really comes to light how truly extraordinary she was.”

The Variety Studio at the Toronto Film Festival is presented by AT&T.