Renee Zellweger—the Texan actress who has appeared movies ranging from “Bridget Jones’s Diary” to “Jerry Maguire” to “Chicago”—will receive the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ Woman of the Year award this upcoming Thursday.
Zellweger mentioned that she would be in Boston this week to receive the award during an appearance on the David Letterman Show last Thursday night.
“That was all her,” said Hasty Pudding Theatricals President David J. Andersson ’09. “We found out about it the next day.”
The Hasty Pudding followed Zellweger’s announcement with a press release Friday morning.
According to Anderson, Zellweger’s broad range of work appealed to the Hasty Pudding’s executive board.
“When we choose a women of the year, we’re looking for someone who is not only talented and well-esteemed, but who also has a fun side,” Anderson said. “She’s been in both fun, kooky films that fit with the Hasty Pudding spirit and some more well-esteemed films.”
During her day in Cambridge, Zellweger will participate in the Hasty Pudding’s traditional parade down Mass. Ave. The parade will begin at the Inn at Harvard at 2:30 p.m. Zellweger will travel the parade route in a Bentley convertible loaned to the theatrical group by Bentley Motors.
Andersson and Thomas R. Compton ’09, vice president of the cast for the Hasty Pudding, will sit next to Zellweger in the convertible, while members of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals—dressed in drag—flank the car. The parade will end at New College Theater on Holyoke Street, where Andersson and Compton will roast Zellweger.
The celebration will conclude with a preview of “Acropolis Now,” the Pudding’s upcoming show, which opens next week.
The Woman of the Year award was first presented in 1951, and the Man of the Year award was introduced 16 years later.
“It’s a mix of wanting to bring someone in from the theater community at large and get the experience of talking to her, and allowing us to broaden our horizons and get our name out there,” Andersson said of the award’s purpose.
Andersson said that the main selling point in convincing nominees to accept the award is the list of notable Hollywood figures that have received the award.
Last year, Charlize Theron and Christopher Walken were honored.
In recent years, the Hasty Pudding has announced both the Man and Woman of the Year simultaneously—last year they did so on the celebrity television program Access Hollywood.
But this year, the group decided to split up the announcements in hopes of increasing the press coverage each award received, said Hasty Pudding Theatricals Producer Pierce E. Tria ’10.
The Hasty Pudding plans to announce the Man of the Year on Tuesday or Wednesday of this coming week, Andersson said.
—Staff writer Lauren D. Kiel can be reached at email@example.com.
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