Here’s the first trailer for Renee Zellweger’s fat suit in ‘The Thing About Pam’

Last October, the first paparazzi photos came out from the set of The Thing About Pam, an NBC miniseries about a true crime. The true crime? The murder of Betsy Faria, the framing and criminal conviction of Betsy’s husband and, ultimately, the investigation and conviction of Pam Hupp for Faria’s murder. At the time of the crime, Hupp was a larger woman in her 50s. Renee Zellweger is executive producing the miniseries and she cast herself as Hupp. In last fall’s pap photos, we saw Renee in her “Pam Hupp fat suit” for the role. Now the trailer is here:

I’ll admit that I’m actually interested in the story and I love these sort of Coen-Brother-esque/Fargo-like dark comedies about murders and crimes. That being said, it is still absolutely a f–king joke that Renee cast herself and she thought no one would have a f–king problem with her wearing a fat suit. As I said last fall, it’s past time for people to start calling this out for what it is: offensive fat drag. It’s massively insulting to think about the plus-sized (or merely “not size zero”) actresses who would have nailed this role. Allison Tolman!! Melissa McCarthy! Christina Hendricks! I am begging Hollywood to stop hiring thin, white actors for every f–king role. I don’t want to see Jared Leto, Renee Zellweger, Sarah Paulson and Gary Oldman “bravely” don a fat suit to play roles which should have gone to other actors!! Where the f–k are the casting directors in these decisions too? Jesus H.

Screencaps courtesy of NBC. Additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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73 Responses to “Here’s the first trailer for Renee Zellweger’s fat suit in ‘The Thing About Pam’”

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  1. TIFFANY says:

    Renee did it because she wants a Emmy.


    • tealily says:

      SO BRAVE! *eyeroll*

      • Ronaldinhio says:

        Agree re bravery

        When she did Bridget Jones she was asked and spoke endlessly about the HUGE weight gain she had to endure.
        She looked great. It was boring and a painfully concocted ‘tell me I’m thin and beautiful now’ the narcissism tour

  2. Pi says:

    It is based on a true crime. Does the murderer’s weight matter?She wanted to portray the character. Keep the woman in her 50s part and do it without the fat costume.

    • Orangeowl says:

      Right? This was my thought. Not sure why her weight would be so critical to the role.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Well, apparently they’re relying on the trope that all fat people are twisted, pathetic, lonely losers who’ll kill you to take what you have since they can’t accomplish anything themselves. They seem to be leaning hard into it. Fat phobia is vicious and very real.

      • TOM says:

        And almost every scene in the trailer, Renée is drinking a Big Gulp or eating.

      • Robyn says:

        Yep. You nailed it, Sue.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly. I remember hearing this story, I don’t recall her weight being relevant at all. If they felt it was and the actor should match the character in appearance, then hire someone who looks more like her. Josh Duhamel doesn’t look like the guy he’s portraying.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, that was my thought, too. It’s a TV dramatization, not a documentary. Why does anybody have to look like anybody? This is the first I’ve actually heard of the story, I have no idea what any of the people concerned actually look like, so choosing a cast based on looks (or not, as is the case here), makes zero impact on whether or not I’ll like the show. Now spotting an obvious fat suit affects what I think of the show, that’s for sure.

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      @Pi, agreed! It’s ACTING, stop THIN SHAMING the actors who can play the role by taking on the physical characteristics of the part. Jeez, only fat women can play fat women, and only gay people can play gay people? It’s ACTING!

      • JBones says:

        Thank you @RoyalAssassin.

        It’s Acting!
        Renee is an excellent actress and I look forward to seeing her play the role of this twisted woman. She wants to remain true to the physical appearance of the real Pam Hupp, makes sense. She was cool to gain weight for Bridget Jones, but not for this role, still not mad at her.

        Tim Allen wore a fat suit for his role in The Santa Claus- are people offended by this too?

  3. Tanguerita says:

    I honestly can’t wrap my head around the fact that people still do this crap in this day and age. Every journalist and blogger should ask Zellweger about it. Like, this should be the first question they ask. Did you feel you were the right fit to play a plussize character?

    • Nlopez says:

      100% agree with Tanguerita!

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes! But the only reason Renee was able to score the role was due to her position.

        McCarthy would have knocked this portrayal out of the park!!

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Christina Hendricks would have knocked this portrayal out of the park too!

        I loved Christina Hendricks as “Chair” in the Comedy Central series “Another Period”.

  4. A Girl Is No One says:

    At least Charlize gained the weight IRL

    • jo73c says:

      So did Renee – for both Bridget Jones movies

      • BW says:

        I thought Rene looked refreshingly healthy and normal in the Bridget Jones movies. I didn’t think she looked fat at all, and I never understood why everyone thought she was fat.

      • lucy2 says:

        BW I always thought she looked good in that as well.

      • Tanguerita says:

        @BW because the toxic diet culture of the nineties mangled our collective brain.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Renee was hardly “fat” in BJs. Her face got fuller and her boobs a little larger. That was pretty much the extent of it.

      • candy says:

        It was always offensive to me how that movie was marketed as “fat renee.” She was like 120 pounds in that role, compared to her usual 90 lbs or whatever.

      • JRT says:

        Renee only gained weight for two out of the three Bridget Jones films.

    • truthSF says:

      Renee did too for the Bridget Jones movies.

      • Justjj says:

        In the books, Bridget Jones is 130-135 lbs., because the 90s. She might have gained weight for this role but even in doing so, she was never overweight. I think she even remarked as such in interviews. That’s why she looks refreshingly normal because gaining weight as an actress in the 90s meant going from 105 to 130 and probably still does by many standards of “brave” weight gain in the film industry.

  5. SomeChick says:

    casting can’t override the producer. I agree the fat drag sucks. and all of the times they show her eating… I’m giving this a hard pass. movie about a fat person made by skinny people.

  6. Izzy says:

    THANK YOU. And stop nominating them for awards when they do these roles. “Oh, she bravely made herself look fat on purpose! Such a challenging role! Really digging deep to use those acting skills!” Just eff off with that already.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Empty praise!!! Unless you are someone that has had weight issues your entire life, you CAN’T evoke that mindset. 😡

      • Liz version 700 says:

        I want to hurl a big gulp at everyone who thought mocking obesity in a murder story was a good idea

  7. Lala11_7 says:

    Just read the details regarding Pam Hupp’s crimes….she was a relentless homicidal greed driven machine! I don’t understand why Renee would make that body modification choice…when honestly for this part…it wasn’t needed…especially when you factor in the blowback that she HAD to know would come from wearing the suit…

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      In the video, the actor who is presumably her mother is teasing her for her looks, and saying she can now afford a facelift. Clearly her body-type was part of her character, and the role required she portray someone who has been harassed by her own mother for her looks/weight. It’s acting; let her wear a fat suit, who cares.
      ps: who IS that actress?! I love her and she’s well known, just can’t recall (or find) her name…

      • North of Boston says:

        They could easily still have the character dynamics without the fat suit. Note that the mother is poking at Pam about needing a facelift… and then the clip cuts to Renee with a fatsuited fuller face … which is as taut and lifted as a 20 year old’s. And decidedly NOT in need of a facelift.

        Abusive parents don’t necessarily base their abuse, taunting comments on reality. They installed the abuse buttons and are skilled at pushing them, whether or not the criticisms are based in reality.

        Many an “acceptable weight” girl has been driven into an eating disorder or other disordered behavior by a parent who chided her about her weight … parents who relish putting the “diss” in dysfunctional.

        A fat suit on a thin actress was absolutely NOT necessary for this story, not unless TPTB were hell-bent on putting their fat phobia and bias against heavy people on full display.
        (Given the scene selections in the trailer, I’m guessing that might just be the case)

      • JurisGal says:


        Celia Weston is the actress.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    I agree. These roles should be given to full figured actors. Giving them to thin actors only reinforces the notion that plus size actors are not welcome in Hollywood.

  9. Oh_Hey says:

    Just hire a fat actor…
    there are amazing actors that can embody the role that are also bigger. I don’t understand why we’re still having the fat suit debate. It’s like saying being over x weight instantly makes you less good of an actor. If that sounds cray, it’s because it is….

  10. Dss says:

    Brigette Everett would have been outstanding in this role.

  11. K says:

    This so perfectly captures how messed up Hollywood really is. She is a good actress but so many others would have been great. BTW she is bravely looking like alot of women. How condescending.

  12. emmlo says:

    It’s giving Gwenyth in Shallow Hal. How gross to keep repeating the same fatphobic lazy schtick.

    • swiftcreekrising says:

      YES. Shallow Hal vibes for sure. That movie was so effed up on so many levels – a friend of mine has severe burn scarring and went to see that movie in the theater, and when the lights came up people couldn’t stop staring. Why have we not learned that bodies are off limits?

  13. Marcy says:

    I’m also offended that it sounds like she’s using a Minnesotan accent? The crime took place in the greater St. Louis area; we don’t talk like Minnesotans.

    • Diamond Rottweiler says:

      And St. Louis has such a great regional accent to work with! I guess “vaguely flyover” is now a standard (lazy) accent in Hollywood.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That was supposed to be a St Louis accent??? I have a friend who was born & raised there, and spent a few more decades there as an adult. No way does she talk like that! Her accent is more southern than anything, although that could be due to her Alabama relatives.

      • North of Boston says:

        Yeah, I don’t recall John Hamm or Scott Bakula or Nelly or Andy Cohen or Jenna Fischer speaking like they are from Minnesota.

        Maybe Renee’s basing her accent on Phyllis from The Office.

  14. Twin Falls says:

    Not a single person involved had the nerve to tell her what a bad idea this was. Imagine that being your life. Granted, she should have known better on her own and deserves to be called out for it.

    I probably won’t watch it. I didn’t watch Pam and Tommy either. There are too many other choices to give these projects air.

    • AppleCart says:

      I get the feeling the last few projects Renee worked on were more for the paycheck than any artistic integrity.

  15. Lady Keller says:

    The optics of this are so bad. They easily could have put her in frumpy clothing and made her look dowdy with the same results. I understand there are some characters where weight will be an important part of the overall appearance. If she were playing Melissa McCarthy in the Melissa McCarthy biopic then yes, it would be pivotal that we see her as a heavy person, but is it really imperative that she wears a fat suit here. Give the role to a talented plus a size actress or reimagine the character as non plus sized.

  16. tealily says:

    This should 100% be Allison Tolman. She’d be great in this role.

    I also really hate the tone of this thing. This was a real murder that actually happened. Why is this a comedy?

    • AppleCart says:

      Pam probably murdered at least three people for financial gain and revenge. I really hope they don’t make this campy. She is a serial killer and dangerous. But she ran circles around the cops since they never consider a nice soft belly white woman a threat. And she hid behind that mask for a long time while cashing insurance checks.

    • nb says:

      Agree – who turns a real murder case into a comedy? Did the families of the victims approve this?

      I’ve unfortunately had two good friends murdered in the last 5 years (one of them was turned into an episode of Dateline and it was really hard to watch). I can’t imagine if, instead of Dateline who at least treats the subject matter with respect, her death was turned into a ‘dark comedy’ starring Renee Z. in a frickin fat suit sucking on slurpees and shoving her face like it’s so funny. Disgusting.

      Everything about this movie sounds awful.

      • tealily says:

        They could have at least had the decency to fictionalize it based on the events or something. I’m so sorry about your friends.

      • AppleCart says:

        I’m so sorry about your friends. I am hoping it isn’t treated as camp and the trailer is just edited that way to make it look like it’s a Fargoesque type black comedy.

  17. Trish says:

    I never heard of this story so she didn’t need the fat suit at all. She donned it because she wants praise and awards and she wants people to tune in because look Renee Zellweger is fat!

    She will always be the lady in Texas Chainsaw Massacre next generation to me. She was good in Judy, but other than that, she’s overrated to me.

  18. MelOn says:

    I can’t believe she has TWO Oscars. Why?

  19. lemontwist says:

    Ugh. Once again this is so gross on so many levels.

    Fat suit grossness aside, it’s yet another telling example of the double standard for men and women in Hollywood. Sarah Paulsen had to answer for her ‘fat drag’ in a lot of interviews last year and I’m sure Renee will this year as well. Rightly so. I wish we would see male actors (Jared Leto, John Lithgow) held to account in the same way. If that were to start happening, dollars to donuts we’d see this disgusting practice stop much faster.

  20. stelly says:

    There’s a really good Dateline podcast by the same name I listened to recently. It’s a crazy, fascinating true crime story and I can’t wait to watch this! I think Bridget Everett could have been a good choice for this role. I could see her playing creepy Pam well.

  21. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Fat suit or not, she always looks like she’s trying to take a sh*t.

  22. Maida says:

    The “Maintenance Phase” podcast did a great episode about fat suits (unfortunately only available to Patreon subscribers). This is a poor choice by Zellweger.

  23. Valerie says:

    I guess it’s a bit better than requiring her to gain weight, but why not just hire a fat actor if that’s what they want? Oh, right, they don’t want that at all.

  24. E says:

    Wait… Christina Hendricks is plus sized?!?! She’s curvy and not a size 2 but I really don’t think she’s over a size 14 either…

    • cate says:

      I was thinking the same—unless Christina Hendricks has gained a whole lot of weight recently, she not plus sized. On the larger end of the straight size spectrum, maybe, and definitely has curves/dresses to accentuate them, but plus-size? No. She is larger than Zellweger though.

  25. AnneL says:

    I was thinking of Patrica Arquette. She is somewhat full figured, or just normal, but also gained weight to play a character in that prison escape miniseries. She was very good in it, as was Paul Dano. I didn’t have such a problem with that because she isn’t skinny, like Renee. I suppose her character didn’t have to be heavier, though. She could have just played the role as she was.

  26. Nancy says:

    So everyone is upset about the fatsuit and the accent? They made a satire out of a murder, a recent one. I am sure the families of those affected by this event aren’t concerned about the fatsuit.

    • North of Boston says:

      Representation matters.

      Making a mockery of body types and accents for yucks is gross.

      Doing it by having a sample-size producer-actor dress up in a fat suit and slurping Big Gulps while cackling about murder is even grosser and incredibly tone-deaf, myopic and offensive.

  27. TeeMajor says:

    I want to see this, I remember the story, at least we know Renee will bring it.

    It’s not as gritty as “Monster” but it’s going to be an interesting ride.
    Thanks for the heads up Celeb!!

    I’m not going to get into the rhetoric of wearing fat suits, I am too tired amd just want to see good tv at this point.

  28. Molly+Fulton says:

    This portrayal reminds me of Fat Monica in Friends – so stereotypical and offensive. And why do they have fat voices? How is that a thing?

  29. Dottie says:

    Most of us who live in the St. Louis area have followed this case like hawks. Oh, and not for nothing, Pam Hupp got super skinny in prison…virtually unrecognizable to the heavier Pam of her murder spree. I’ve lived here for well over 60 years and the accents on the trailer were awful and, well, also unrecognizable to my STL ear. Still, I’m interested to see how Hollywood takes on this case.

    • AppleCart says:

      I think being heavyset was part of the mask. She was invisible to people and just slid by with her crimes for so long. She just kept doubling down until she finally got caught. If people want to watch her interrogation videos on YT. Pam is a bit overweight. I don’t think Renee wearing a fat suit is so out of character for the person. I would rather her trying to resemble her than be some hot chick that kills totally outside of what Pam was.

  30. Sushiroll says:

    Her face. She looks exactly like that Salad Cat meme.

  31. J says:

    This doesn’t bother me at all and I’m not exactly thin. I get that actors need to prep for parts. Why damage their health if there is an alternative solution.