Friday 22 February 2019

Irish actress lands role of Liza Minelli opposite Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in BBC biopic

Gemma-Leah Devereux at the opening night of Poison Pen at the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, Dublin
Gemma-Leah Devereux at the opening night of Poison Pen at the Irish Film Institute in Temple Bar, Dublin
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Irish actress Gemma-Leah Devereux has landed the role of Liza Minnelli in the BBC’s highly anticipated biopic about Judy Garland.

Devereux will star opposite Renee Zellweger, who takes on the lead role of ‘Miss Show Business’ Garland.

Devereux was not the only Irish actress to land a role in the film as Kerry actress Jessie Buckley will play Rosalyn Wilder, Garland’s production assistant.

The film also stars Michael Gambon and American Horror Story actor Finn Wittrock, who will play Mickey Deans, Garland’s fifth husband.

Jessie Buckley
Jessie Buckley

Set in the 1960s, the film will focus on Garland’s series of sold-out concerts at London’s Talk Of The Town nightclub.

Tony nominee Rupert Goold is directing the film Judy, from a script by Tom Edge who worked on Netflix’s hit series, The Crown.

IFTA-winning actress Devereux has previously starred in Get Up And Go, Cardboard Gangsters and legal TV series Striking Out.

Talking about her role in the film, Devereux said it was a “dream” to play Minnelli.

“I am over the moon to be playing the iconic Liza Minnelli. Being directed by the very talented Rupert Goold and to be playing opposite Renee Zellweger is every actress’s dream,” she told

“The day my agent called to say I got the part I had just watched Discovering: Judy Garland on Sky Arts.

“This is a very exciting chapter in my career. I have grown up watching Liza with a ‘Z’ and I feel honoured to be playing her.”

The film will delve into the battles Garland had with her management team as well as the relationships she had with her son and daughters.

It will feature some of Garland’s best-known songs including her signature Over The Rainbow.

It is currently being filmed in the UK, and last week, the first images of Zellweger in costume were released.

No release date has yet been announced for the project. Garland starred in classic films including The Wizard Of Oz, A Star Is Born and Meet Me in St Louis.


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