Renee Zellweger is working on her next project, and the Bridget Jones's Diary actress is unrecognizable on the set of The Thing About Pam, a new NBC limited series. The Blast published new photos of Zellweger on set with boyfriend Ant Anstead, and the actress is donning a fat suit and facial prosthetics for the role of convicted murderer Pam Hupp. Zellweger is no stranger to physical transformations for her career over the years, but the prosthetics make her truly look like a different person.
There has been some pushback from body positivity activists over the production's decision to use a fat suit Instead of actually giving the role to a plus-sized actress. "Another grim message to talented fat actresses that despite the fact that they have the lived experience of existing in a body like that, a thin actress would still somehow play the role better," wrote body confidence content creator and model Jess Megan. "There are some brilliant fat actresses out there, and even if none of them were suitable, they could have found a new star for the limited amount of representation fat people already have."
Hupp is currently serving a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger. She was recently charged with first-degree murder in the 2011 stabbing death of Betsy Faria, but has denied that she had any involvement in the crime. Faria had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and four days before she was attacked she made changes to her life insurance policy that gave $150,000 to Hupp instead of Faria's own husband, Russ. Lincoln County Prosecutor Mike Wood has stated that he believes Faria was "murdered for the insurance money." Following Faria's death, Russ was convicted and given a sentence of life in prison. However, that conviction was later overturned and he was found not guilty during a 2015 retrial.
Zellweger recently spoke out about the upcoming series, of which she is also an executive producer, and shared what drew her to the role. "It goes beyond just the peculiarity of the story or the audacity of the behavior of everybody involved," the actress explained. "It's sort of a glaring illustration of currently topical social issues."
The Oscar-winner then added that she feels the story shines a light on the bias whether it is unconscious or not, in the U.S. judicial system. "It also speaks to, I guess you could call it, white lady privilege in America," Zellweger said. "And also it kinda has an interesting look at the sad invisibility of middle-aged women in America and how in the most bizarre circumstances it can work to someone's advantage, as is probably the case in Pam Hupp's story."
In addition to Zellweger, The Thing About Pam will also feature Katy Mixon, Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer, Gideon Adlon, Sean Bridgers, Glenn Fleshler, Suanne Spoke, and Mac Brandt. The limited series is named after a podcast that was produced about the bizarre crime story. The Thing About Pam will run for six episodes, but no premiere date has been announced.