Renee Zellweger received a standing ovation for her role as Judy Garland at the Telluride Film Festival on Friday.
The actress appeared on stage at the Colorado movie event alongside director Rupert Goold, following a screening of the new biopic, Judy. And after being toasted by Goold as "the nicest person I've ever met", Zellweger spoke about her decision to take a six-year break from acting.
"I needed to live a little bit, and not in another person's shoes," she said, in a video posted online by The Hollywood Reporter columnist Scott Feinberg. "I just felt like a more authentic person. I didn't feel like I was faking things."
Feinberg also praised her performance in the movie, writing on Twitter: "Telluride: I've gotta tell you, I don't think Renee Zellweger could have possibly been better as Judy Garland than she is in JUDY. Career-best work!"
The 50-year-old actress proudly donned a silver medallion at the festival, which organisers awarded her as a career tribute. Her performance in the movie has been widely lauded by critics, with many tipping her to receive a first Oscar nomination in 16 years.
Judy tells the story of Garland's troubled five-week stint at London's The Talk of the Town nightclub, now The Hippodrome Casino, in 1968, as well as the personal struggles that began after she became a child star in the 1930s.
The film debuts in cinemas next month.
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