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Renee Zellweger Returns to TV in an NBC miniseries "The Thing About Pam"

Marion Charatan

Posted on March 6, 2022 13:15

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The two-time Oscar winner ("Judy" and "Cold Mountain") stars in a true-crime miniseries she produced. "The Thing About Pam" premieres Tuesday, March 8 on NBC TV.

Two-time Academy Award Winner Renee Zellweger's decision to produce and star in a true-crime TV series is guaranteed to be a hit. It was a savvy move for NBC to buy the project.

Based on Dateline's popular podcast The Thing About Pam, Zellweger, 52, was cast as Pam Hupp. Pam seems to be a benign middle-aged Midwesterner -- the proverbial good neighbor. However, tragedy came to her door when Pam's best friend, Betsy Faria, a coworker at State Farm, was murdered in 2011.

But law enforcement looked right past Hupp and arrested and convicted Russ Faria, Betsy's husband, instead, for the murder. Hupp helped seal the deal by telling police he had an aggressive temper. But in 2015, Russ was exonerated of his wife's murder. Not long after, police reinvestigated Pam, who had been convicted of killing a stranger, Louis Gumpenberger, in 2016. Could she have a motive for wanting her friend dead? Did she murder Betsy, too?

I've listened to the podcast you can find on Spotify and Apple, and I have to agree with Zellweger's review of The Thing About Pam. The actress said, "I think my jaw was on the steering wheel. That's the thing about it: You can't quite believe the facts that surround this case. 'Escalating absurdity' is how I'd describe it."

Zellweger, with her extraordinary ability for storytelling, recognized that the saga of Missourian Pam Hupp would make fascinating TV, because there were so many layers to the woman who you might go grocery shopping with, attend a church service with, or sit around the kitchen table drinking coffee with. The complexity of characters makes for great stories. 

The actress, who started her own production company, The Big Picture Co., in 2019, got together with her producing partner, Carmella Casinelli, to research and produce the story, which was so over-the-top that she saw its entertainment potential. 

The limited series, in six parts, begins with the night that Betsy Faria was killed. She was stabbed more than 50 times. The killing occurred right after Betsy was driven home by Pam -- a coincidence or something much more diabolical? 

Zellweger spent up to four hours in a makeup chair to look like Hupp. Prosthetics were attached to channel the woman's facial features. It's eerie to see how closely the appearance of the accused is duplicated in Zellweger's transformation. Wardrobe covers every detail, including dressing Zellweger in the tacky bathrobes Hupp favored and 'fattening up' techniques. There is a scene in the trailer where she limps over the courtroom floor, just like the real Pam Hupp. 

Most of Zellweger's TV appearances were pre-Jerry McGuire and Bridget Jones films. The actress said she's happy to be returning to the small screen: “I enjoyed it a lot. I like the pace." The cast is rounded out by Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer, Katy Mixon, and Sean Bridgers. The Thing About Pam debuts this Tuesday, March 8 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on NBC.

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on March 6, 2022 13:15

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Source: Upworthy

His clients ranged from presidents and corporate whistleblowers to scandal-plagued celebrities and suspected drug traffickers.

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