Renée Zellweger dedicated her award to the late Judy Garland

By Dana Rose Falcone
January 19, 2020 10:23 PM
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Somewhere over the rainbow… Renée Zellweger won a SAG Award!

At Sunday’s 2020 SAG Awards, the Texas native, 50, took home the statue for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role in a motion picture for Judy.

“Hello my family,” she began her acceptance speech. “What an honor. From my actor family. Thank you so much for this. Thank you for inviting me here, alongside my extra sisters whose work touches me so deeply. I celebrate y’all when you come out with anything with a popcorn breakfast at the theater, and it’s my great honor to be here tonight alongside y’all. I’m just so grateful for the privilege of reflecting on the life of one of our own and most beloved. I have to thank my fellow actors.”

She also gave a few special shoutouts to actors who have impacted her life over the years, including her Jerry Maguire costar Tom Cruise.

Tom Cruise, for your example of professionalism on set and striving for excellence and generosity and unconditional kindness,” she said of the actor.

Zellweger played Cruise’s love interest in the 1996 film, which included the famous line, “You had me at hello.”

Renée Zellweger
| Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

She concluded her speech by once again thanking her fellow actors and dedicating the award to Judy Garland, whom she portrayed in the film.

“Judy Garland, 50 years later, your community is thinking of you tonight,” she said. “This is for you.”

Zellweger beat out Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us) and Charlize Theron (Bombshell). Zellweger’s victory marks her fourth SAG win and her sixth nomination.

Tom Cruise
| Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

The actress portrayed the singing and acting icon in a biopic that picks up with the show-business legend 30 years after The Wizard of Oz as she embarks on a string of sold-out shows in London and a new romance with her soon-to-be fifth husband, musician Mickey Deans.

The Bridget Jones’s Diary star feels she understands Garland somewhat from having also spent time in the spotlight.

“I have a little bit of understanding about what it’s like to live with a public persona,” Zellweger told PEOPLE in September. “I understand the vast gulf between what is written about that persona and the truth of their life.

RELATED VIDEO: Renée Zellweger on Becoming Judy Garland and Finding the Woman Inside the Legend

Zellweger taking center stage in Judy marks her return to Hollywood after a mostly quiet decade. She told New York Magazine she stepped away because “I wasn’t taking care of myself.”

“I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance,” Zellweger said. “I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”

So far Zellweger’s big-screen resurgence has earned her not just a SAG award — earlier this month, she picked up a Golden Globe win and an Academy Award nomination for playing Garland.

The 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards aired live Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TBS.