25 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Irish Actress Gemma-Leah Devereux to Play Liza Minnelli in BBC's Judy Garland BioPic
23 Mar 2018 : Nathan Griffin
Irish actress Gemma-Leah Devereux has been announced as the latest Irish talent to be added to the upcoming BBC & Pathé BioPic, ‘Judy’, which depicts the life of Hollywood star Judy Garland. Reneé Zellweger is set to play the role of the Hollywood icon.

Devereux will join a cast that already includes IFTA Lifetime recipient Michael Gambon (‘Harry Potter’), and IFTA Rising Star nominee Jessie Buckley (‘Taboo’). The Dublin native, who recently featured in RTÉ’s ‘Striking Out’, will play the role of Judy Garlard’s iconic daughter, Liza Minnelli.

Speaking about the announcement, Actress Gemma-Leah Devereux told IFTN:

“I am over the moon to be playing the iconic Liza Minnelli. Being directed by the very talented Rupert Goold and to be play opposite Renee Zellweger is every actresses dream. The day my agent called to say I got the part I had just watched Discovering: Judy Garland on Sky Arts. I took it as a good sign. This is an very exciting chapter in my career. I have grown up watching Liza with a "Z" and I feel honoured to be playing her.”

Set in winter 1968, the story takes place 30 years after Garland played the iconic role of Dorothy in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’. When she arrives in Swinging London to prepare for a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans, her soon to be fifth husband. And yet Garland is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids. 

Directed by Rupert Goold (‘True Story’), other cast members on the production include Rufus Sewell (‘The Man In The High Castle’), Finn Wittrock (‘The Big Short’), Pill Dunster (‘Murder on the Orient Express’), and Bella Ramsey (‘Game of Thrones’). The film is being produced by David Livingstone (‘Pride’) from Calamity Films, DoP is Ole Bratt Birkeland (‘The Crown’), Musical Director is Matt Dunkley (‘Black Swan’), Melanie Oliver is the Editor, Jany Temime (‘Harry Potter’) is Costume Designer, while Production Design is done by Kave Quinn (‘Far From The Madding Crowd’).

Cameron McCracken for Pathé, Rose Garnett for BBC Films and Andrea Scarso for Ingenious are Executive Producers.

Pathé will distribute the film in UK, France and Switzerland and will handle international sales worldwide.

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