Renee Zellweger Details Why She Took a Hiatus From Acting: ‘I Wasn’t Healthy’

Renée Zellweger has seen the highs and lows of fame, and after taking a much-needed step out of the spotlight, the actress is back and ready to conquer her next role as Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy.

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“I have very authentic exchanges with people once again,” Zellweger, 50, explained in an interview published by Vulture on Tuesday, September 3. “Six years. It was important, that time. You’re not in people’s consciousness anymore, so they don’t immediately make the connection. It’s a quieter life, and I love it.”

Renee Zellweger Details Struggle With Fame Plastic Surgery Rumors
Renee Zellweger at The 2019 Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Annual Grants Banquet at the Beverly Wilshire on July 31, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Zellweger, who starred in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, 2002’s Chicago and many more iconic films, stepped back to focus on herself in 2010.

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“I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities,” the Texas native shared, adding that she began seeing a therapist. “He recognized that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life. I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”

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Renee Zellweger smiling while out and about on August 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. otpap/Bauergriffin.com/MEGA

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In 2014, Zellweger made headlines for her unrecognizable appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards, which the public assumed was due to plastic surgery. “Nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right,” she quipped to Vulture, seemingly alluding to the jokes made on her behalf.

“That makes me sad,” Zellweger later added of the plastic surgery topic. “I don’t look at beauty in that way. And I don’t think of myself in that way. I like my weird quirkiness, my off-kilter mix of things. It enables me to do what I do. I don’t want to be something else. I got hired in my blue jeans and cowboy boots with my messy hair. I started working like that. I didn’t have to change to work. So why was I suddenly trying to fit into some mold that didn’t belong to me?”

Judy is set to hit theaters on Friday, September 27.

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