If you made a Venn diagram of true crime fans and Bridget Jones’s Diary addicts, the one thing in the middle would be Renée Zellweger playing convicted murderer Pam Hupp.
This week, fans got a first look at the Judy actress, 52, in costume in New Orleans, where she’s filming the NBC TV show The Thing About Pam.
Zellweger was photographed on the snowy set, dressed in a fat suit with apparent facial prosthetics. While carrying a supersized “Chill Chugz” soda cup, she wore a puffy white jacket and matching fur-trimmed snow boots with oversized jeans (and not the cool kind).
Her strawberry blonde bob completed her makeover as Hupp, who is serving a life sentence for killing Louis Gumpenberger in 2016. According to NBC News, she entered an Alford plea, meaning she avoided the death penalty without admitting guilt to the murder.
Three months ago, Hupp was also charged with first degree murder in the case of Betsy Faria, who was stabbed to death in 2011. Hupp has denied any involvement in her murder.
Betsy, who was dying of cancer, changed her life insurance policy four days before she was attacked, giving her $150,000 policy to Hupp instead of her husband, according to NBC News. Lincoln County Prosecutor Mike Wood believes Betsy was “murdered for the insurance money.”
Initially, Betsy’s husband, Russ, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison seven years ago, but it was later overturned. He was found not guilty at his retrial in 2015.
Zellweger is serving as star and executive producer of The Thing About Pam, which is based on Dateline‘s true crime podcast. Josh Duhamel also joined the cast to play Joel Schwartz, Russ Faria’s defense attorney.
During a recent interview, Zellweger explained why she was so drawn to the case of Betsy Faria. “It goes beyond just the peculiarity of the story or the audacity of the behavior of everybody involved,” she shared. “It’s sort of a glaring illustration of currently topical social issues.”
Zellweger, who is currently dating Ant Anstead, said she wanted to touch on how social bias and unconscious personal agendas come into play in the America justice system. “It also speaks to, I guess you could call it, white lady privilege in America,” she continued. “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.”