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Don’t judge Judy until you see it, pleads Renée

A star is reborn:
Renée Zellweger
plays Judy
Garland in a new
biopic of the
Wizard of Oz star
(below) PICTURES: HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY

RENÉE ZELLWEGER has unveiled her latest screen transformation — this time taking on the role of Judy Garland in a controversial retelling of the Wizard of Oz star’s life story.

A trailer for the biopic Judy shows the Texan as Garland in tougher times as she battles money and addiction troubles while raising children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joseph Luft.

Zellweger, 50, has defended the film’s depiction of the Hollywood icon’s booze and drug woes in a period in 1968 when she headed to London’s West End for The Talk of the Town shows in a bid to revive her career.

‘Judy is iconic for a lot of people. People recognise her struggles and her vulnerability,’ said Oscar winner Zellweger, after Minnelli blasted the making of the biopic.

‘People related to her. She had so much to overcome herself, but refused to back down. She’s inspirational for anyone who feels they are misunderstood.’

Minnelli, 73, has denied claims she helped Zellweger prepare to portray her mum in a film she has heavily criticised.

She said last year: ‘I have never met nor spoken to her. I don’t know how these stories get started, but I do not approve nor sanction the upcoming film about Judy Garland in any way. Any reports to the contrary are 100 per cent fiction.’