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Watch Renee Zellweger Explain Why Judy Garland Is a Gay Icon

Renee Zellweger in an upcoming interview with Graham Norton

The actress speaks about what she learned in this exclusive Out clip.

Judy Garland is arguably one of the most widely known gay icons and Renee Zellweger agrees.

Zellweger has been on the promo trail to promote her new film, Judy, a biographical drama about when the Hollywood sensation Judy Garland arrived in 1968 London to perform a series of sold-out concerts at a nightclub.

In an appearance, set to air tonight on The Graham Norton Show, Zellweger talks about the role. In a clip released exclusively to Out, she explains why Garland had such a wide appeal to the LGBTQ+ community.

"What is it about Judy Garland?" Norton asks. "What did you ever come to a conclusion about why she appeals to that gay audience so much?"

"I asked some of my friends who are members of the community and a lot of them think it might have to do with [the fact] that she advocated for them at a time when it was not okay to live authentically," Zellweger says. "On television she would acknowledge that she had members of the gay community as a fanbase, and she championed them. She has a way of singing where she makes you feel like she sees you, she recognizes you. And you know, she probably could empathize with struggles about being misunderstood and having difficulty finding love and all that."

In an exclusive interview with Out last month, Zellweger touched more on why Garland is one of the most celebrated gay icons in history.

"The things that she sang about, the personal struggle and dreaming about a home and love and being able to hold onto something that belongs to you and to be seen, I think that her audiences felt understood when she sang to them," she said. "And seen."

"And she acknowledged the community in a way that was really rare during that time, and she acknowledged the community with appreciation and love. I mean, it's impossible to put a value on that in terms of what that must have meant at that time."

Judy is playing in theaters now.

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