Renee Zellweger is trading in her svelte figure for a thicker appearance in the new NBC crime series, “The Thing About Pam.”
In the show, Zellweger, 52, portrays convicted serial killer Pam Hupp, who is serving a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger.
For her part, the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” actress completely shapeshifts as she’s often known to do in other roles – only this one sees Zellweger donning a plumper suit.
In recent snaps, the “What/If” star is seen on the New Orleans set wearing the bodysuit clad in a large white puffer coat, blue jeans and boots as she transforms into Hupp.
Other appearance alterations likely include some prosthetic facial features. However, in slipping into a plumper costume, the actress opened herself up to scrutiny from some on social media who believe the part might have been better suited for an actress of a larger stature – especially considering the project is co-produced by Zellweger’s own company, Big Picture Co.
Performers such as Sarah Paulson, Gwyneth Paltrow and others have gone on record in expressing their regret for wearing large bodysuits for roles after being called out for promoting fat phobia.
“It’s very hard for me to talk about this without feeling like I’m making excuses. There’s a lot of controversy around actors and fat suits, and I think that controversy is a legitimate one,” Paulson, 46, told the Los Angeles Times. Paulson wore a fat suit while portraying late White House employee Linda Tripp in the FX series “Impeachment: American Crime Story.”
“I think fat phobia is real,” Paulson added. “I think to pretend otherwise causes further harm. And it is a very important conversation to be had.”
However, the actress said that she does not believe the responsibility to turn down such a complex role lies with the actor or actress to whom it is offered. She believes that limiting a portrayal to mere body type is reductive.
“I do think to imagine that the only thing any actor called upon to play this part would have to offer is their physical self is a real reduction of the offering the actor has to make. I would like to believe that there is something in my being that makes me right to play this part,” she explained.
“And that the magic of hair and makeup departments and costumers and cinematographers that has been part of moviemaking, and suspension of belief, since the invention of cinema. Was I supposed to say no [to the part]? This is the question.”