Renée Zellweger received two standing ovations after the TIFF premiere of her upcoming film Judy in which she portrays Judy Garland
Renée Zellweger is back!
The actress, 50, received two standing ovations on Tuesday night after the premiere of her film Judy at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Zellweger brushed away tears as she stood onstage next to her costars and director Rupert Goold, telling the audience, “OK, quit! You’re messing up my makeup.”
The Oscar-winning actress stars as Judy Garland near the end of her life when the famed Wizard of Oz star arrived in London to perform sold-out shows at the Talk of the Town nightclub.
While there, Garland meets and falls in love with her soon-to-be-fifth husband Mickey Deans.
Critics at the festival shared their thoughts on Twitter after the premiere, singing praises for Zellweger’s portrayal of the icon.
“In 15 years at #TIFF I have never seen a standing ovation like the one for Renee Zellweger at JUDY,” Variety critic Jenelle Riley tweeted. “I started this about a minute into it and it only stopped because she made us.”
Toronto Star reporter Tara Deschamps tweeted, “A standing ovation for JUDY. Lasted about two minutes and only ended because Renee Zellweger got teary-eyed and requested everyone sit before she messed up her makeup. #TIFF19.”
Deadline editor Joe Utichi also wrote, “Renée Zellweger is back, baby. She brings the house down in Judy. A towering performance that leaves you with shivers down the spine. #TIFF19.”
Tatiana Siegel of The Hollywood Reporter tweeted she was “so moved” by Zellweger’s performance, adding, “You completely forget you are watching an actress. She calls the film ‘a celebration of hope.'”
Siegel followed it up with a video of the standing ovation, writing, “Here’s a sample of the SECOND standing O for Renee Zellweger following the JUDY Q&A. #TIFF2019.”
Zellweger has been nominated for an Oscar three times, winning one for her performance in 2004’s Cold Mountain.
The actress spoke with PEOPLE at TIFF about how she became Garland for the movie.
“I tried not to think too much about the obvious which is how adored Judy is and has been through generations and how she’s an icon for the ages,” Zellweger said.
She continued, “I looked at it as an exploration of trying to understand the human experience on the other side of that stardom. I think otherwise I would have just run away.”
The film also stars Finn Wittrock as Deans, Rufus Sewell as Garland’s third husband Sid Luft and Michael Gambon as her manager Bernard Delfont. Bella Ramsey plays Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft while Gemma-Leah Devereux plays her daughter Liza Minnelli.
Judy hits theaters Sept. 27, and the soundtrack is set to be released the same day.