Jessie Buckley has said taking on the role of Judy Garland’s personal assistant Rosalyn Wilder was “scary” because it was the first person she had played who was both real and alive.
The Irish actress, 29, admitted that at first she had been nervous about meeting Wilder, who as a young woman worked for the Hollywood star shortly before her death in 1969 by overdose.
Speaking on the red carpet at the European premiere of the biopic Judy in London, the Chernobyl star said: “I don’t know if I have ever played somebody who is real and also alive. That was scary.
“And she was quite nervous but Rosalyn was incredibly generous to me in disclosing her memories and relationships and her feelings towards Judy.
“That was so important so I could understand Judy’s life and this moment in London as well, about this young woman who was at the beginning of her career wanting to make something of her life as well.”
Judy is set in 1968 and tells the story of Garland arriving in London to perform in a sell-out run at The Talk Of The Town nightclub, 30 years after her rise to fame in The Wizard Of Oz.
Wilder was instrumental in ensuring Garland, who by then was using drugs and alcohol daily, made it on stage during the five-week run.
Buckley added that she and Renee Zellweger, who plays Garland, shared “hi-jinks” on-set.
She said: “Of course. It’s important to have hi-jinks on set. She’s just the loveliest, and I really love her and care about her.
“I wish her everything. She’s just a really special, beautiful spirit.”
Judy is released on October 2.