In a conversation with “Dateline” host Keith Morrison, actor Renée Zellweger explained what made her want to play the famous Pamela “Pam” Hupp in an upcoming NBC TV series.
The interview broadcast at the start of the second edition Blumfest Friday. Zellweger is with Hupp in an upcoming limited series, a project that is a collaboration between NBC News Studios, Blumhouse Television and Zellweger’s Big Picture Co. The show is still in development, City and country reported in September.
Hupp, 62, is currently awaiting trial for the 2011 murder of her former best friend Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria. The killed woman was stabbed in her Missouri home at least 55 times. Her husband Russell Faria recovered her body; he was then wrongly convicted of his murder in 2013. His conviction was knocked down in 2015 and he reached a $ 2 million wrongful conviction settlement with the sheriff’s office last year.
Hupp was accused with first degree murder for Betsy’s death in July, to which she pleaded not guilty; prosecutors allege she stabbed Betsy to death before staging the scene to trap Russell. Betsy was killed just four days after Hupp persuaded her to change a $ 150,000 life insurance policy to be the benefactor.
Hupp is currently behind bars for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger, a mentally ill man from a previous accident, who prosecutors say was fatally shot in an attempt to pass him off as a killer in pledges in order to cover up Betsy’s murder. She filed an Alford plea in the case in 2019, still maintaining her innocence but acknowledging that there was enough evidence to convict her at trial and was sentenced to life without parole for this murder.
Zellweger told Morrison that his interest in playing Hupp “goes beyond the audacity of the behavior of everyone involved.”
She said she liked the fact that the case was a “blatant illustration of several current social issues.”
One of those social issues, she said, is the “white woman’s privilege in America.”
She said it was also “an interesting look at the sad invisibility of middle-aged women in America and how, under the strangest circumstances, it can somehow benefit someone, like this ‘is probably the case in the story of Pam Hupp “.
Morrison had covered the case for several episodes of “Dateline”. He noted on Friday that it had become the show’s “most popular story”. It also hosted a “Dateline” podcast entitled “The thing about Pam”, which was launched in 2019.
The case was also presented in a Oxygen episode of “Snapped”.
The release date for the limited series has yet to be set. Josh Duhamel, Judy Greer and Katy Mixon join Zellweger in the cast.