ST. LOUIS – Renée Zellweger is opening up about her upcoming role as convicted murder Pam Hupp in an NBC miniseries called “The Thing About Pam.”
Betsey Faria was stabbed to death at her home in December 2011. Her husband, Russ, was convicted in 2013 for the murder after a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office investigation used Hupp as a star witness.
Eonline.com is reporting that Zellweger told a Dateline correspondent during a BlumFest interview she was “riveted” by the original podcast. The miniseries is based on the podcast.
Zellweger also said during the interview that her interest in the role goes beyond the “peculiarity” of the story and says “it is sort of a glaring illustration of currently topical social issues”.
She went on to say during the interview, “It also speaks to I guess you could call it white lady privilege in America. And also it kinda has an interesting look at the sad invisibility of middle-aged women in America and how in the most bizarre circumstances it can work to someone’s advantage, as is probably the case in Pam Hupp’s story.”
She also said truth is stranger than fiction.
Zellweger said it will be more difficult to portray Hupp than her Oscar-winning portrayal of Judy Garland because there aren’t decades of records about Hupp.
Dateline reporter Keith Morrison asked Zellweger if she was scared to step into the mind of a killer. Zellweger said, “I try not to think about that, Keith. I’m just going to keep my head down and do my work.”
She explained that means she’ll “try and research different personality types and try to understand whether or not the psychosis or solipsism or combination of both, whatever it might be. Either way, it’s going to be interesting and there’s a lot to learn.”
Deadline.com reports that Josh Duhamel is playing Joel Schwartz, the defense attorney for Faria’s husband Russ.
Russ Faria was found not guilty in a second trial in 2015. The second trial revealed all of the evidence in the murder of Russ’ wife, including evidence—and motive—pointing to Hupp as the possible killer.
In 2016, Hupp shot and killed Louis Gumpenberger in a plot to deflect the heat she was feeling from law enforcement outside of Lincoln County. Federal investigators were looking into Hupp.
In June 2019, Hupp submitted an Alford plea to avoid the death penalty in the Gumbpenberger case. She admitted that the state of Missouri had enough evidence to convict her of Gumpenberger’s murder. She shot him to death in her home.
Hupp is currently serving a life sentence in a Missouri state prison.