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Renée Zellweger | Source: Getty Images
Renée Zellweger | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger On Disappearing From Hollywood For 6 Years And Rumors Of Plastic Surgery – Details

Gaone Pule
Jul 05, 2024
11:45 A.M.
  • Renée Zellweger learned that she had a mental health issue after stepping away from the spotlight.
  • Since her return, she's faced criticism about her appearance, with claims of plastic surgery.
  • Zellweger fiercely addressed these rumors and shared her truth in a powerful essay.
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Renee Zellweger attends the Hollywood premiere of "The Bachelor," 1999  | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the Hollywood premiere of "The Bachelor," 1999 | Source: Getty Images

Renée Zellweger stepped away from the spotlight for several years. She later revealed the personal and mental health reasons behind her hiatus and upon her return, the celebrity faced speculation about plastic surgery, which she firmly addressed.

Before dealing with public scrutiny over her ever-changing looks, Zellweger impressed many with her work onscreen. Her passion for acting began in her Texas hometown. Initially struggling to break into Hollywood, she befriended fellow star Matthew McConaughey, who was also on the rise.

Renee Zellweger at the VH1- Vogue fashion Awards on October 19, 2001, in New York. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the VH1- Vogue fashion Awards on October 19, 2001, in New York. | Source: Getty Images

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Her big break came after she landed a role in the movie "Love and a .45" (1994), which earned her critical praise. Zellweger then relocated to Los Angeles, where her performance in "The Whole Wide World" opened doors to more significant opportunities.

She starred opposite Tom Cruise in "Jerry Maguire" (1996), beating out actresses like Cameron Diaz and Winona Ryder for the role of Dorothy Boyd.

Renée Zellweger on the set of "Jerry Maguire," 1996 | Source: Getty Images

Renée Zellweger on the set of "Jerry Maguire," 1996 | Source: Getty Images

Zellweger continued her ascent to superstardom with roles alongside Meryl Streep in "One True Thing" (1998) and Jim Carrey in "Me, Myself and Irene" (2000). She later won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for "Nurse Betty."

Renee Zellweger at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 21, 2001, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 21, 2001, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Her career soared with her role in "Bridget Jones's Diary" (2001), which brought commercial success and critical acclaim. Zellweger later earned her first Academy Award nomination for this role, followed by another for "Chicago" (2002).

Renee Zellweger attends the "Chicago" film party at the Cafe Royal on December 8, 2002, in London. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the "Chicago" film party at the Cafe Royal on December 8, 2002, in London. | Source: Getty Images

In 2003, the film star won her first Academy Award for "Cold Mountain." Sixteen years later, she bagged another one for her portrayal of Judy Garland in "Judy" (2019).

Despite her success, the famous star decided to take a break from Hollywood in 2010. When asked why she took a break from acting, Zellweger explained her mindset at the time in an interview.

Renee Zellweger at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 11, 2009, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 11, 2009, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

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"I don't even know if it was a conscious decision more than it was time for something else. You find a project you want to do next, and I found something else I wanted to do next that didn't have anything to do with my career," she divulged.

She wanted to explore other aspects of life and focus on her personal life, making her career secondary. Zellweger admitted another candid reason for her hiatus.

Rene Zellweger at the premiere of "Tuan Yuan" (Apart Together), 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Rene Zellweger at the premiere of "Tuan Yuan" (Apart Together), 2010 | Source: Getty Images

"I was bored of myself. I was bored of the merry-go-round, as John Lennon put it," the veteran star admitted. She sought stillness and realized she wasn't taking care of herself, spending most of her life as a public persona.

Zellweger delved even further into her choice of taking a break from the screens. She revealed a more concerning fact about her life then which prompted her to make the decision.

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Renee Zellweger at the 60th Berlinale Film Festival on February 20, 2010, in Berlin. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the 60th Berlinale Film Festival on February 20, 2010, in Berlin. | Source: Getty Images

"I wasn't healthy. I wasn't taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities," the writer disclosed. As she retreated from show business, she started seeing a therapist who made her realize that she spent most of her life living as the public persona.

Following that realization, she did not want to continue living like that anymore. She needed some stillness to avoid living life on a planned schedule.

Renee Zellweger attends the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the Costume Institute Gala Benefit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Through therapy, she discovered she had depression. "Nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right! It clarifies what's important to you," she expressed.

After her dark period, which lasted a year, Zellweger found happiness in her private life in the next five years. Looking back on that challenging time, she remembered having many places to live but not having a home.

Renee Zellweger at the 29th annual Fashion Group International Night of Stars at Cipriani Wall Street on October 25, 2012, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the 29th annual Fashion Group International Night of Stars at Cipriani Wall Street on October 25, 2012, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

"No home where I actually unpacked pictures and put them on the shelf..." Zellweger revealed. Instead, she had two suitcases and knew where her passport was including other important documents. "The inoculations, all that stuff, were in my carry-on, all the time. Now I put the carry-on up on a shelf!" said the star.

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Renee Zellweger at the Giorgio Armani - One Night Only New York at SuperPier on October 24, 2013, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the Giorgio Armani - One Night Only New York at SuperPier on October 24, 2013, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Although she loves acting, the producer candidly talked about the downsides of being famous in a 2017 interview, leaving an eyebrow-raising remark.

"Fame is just weird to me. It's not natural. And you don't have an opportunity to meet people in a genuine way. The attention makes me uncomfortable, I think," she stated.

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After taking a break from Hollywood, she returned to the big screen in 2016 Zellweger appeared in "Bridget Jones's Baby," starring opposite Patrick Dempsey and Emma Thompson.

In an interview, the author of the book series, Helen Fielding, revealed there would be a fourth installment to the franchise called "Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy" and expressed excitement about it.

Now that she has steadily made a comeback, Zellweger was asked how she felt about being back in the limelight. She said it has been surprisingly very quiet and peaceful.

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The two-time BAFTA winner has come to realize that she can be thankful and responsible while doing her job. Most importantly, she has the power to say no and now has boundaries.

Renee Zellweger attends the 2017 Changemaker Honoree Gala on June 1, 2017, in Greenwich, Connecticut. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the 2017 Changemaker Honoree Gala on June 1, 2017, in Greenwich, Connecticut. | Source: Getty Images

When asked why she does not indulge in oversharing like many other celebrities do, Zellweger explained, "I think that's a different job than the one I'm interested in. Celebrity is a different job than what I'm interested in. I like the collaborative, creative experience. It's a blue-collar job."

Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of "Same Kind Of Different As Me," 2017 | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of "Same Kind Of Different As Me," 2017 | Source: Getty Images

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Despite her successful comeback and keeping her life private, Zellweger has faced criticism about her appearance. The public figure became the talk of the town following her red-carpet appearance at Elle magazine's Women In Hollywood Awards in 2014.

While at the event, she appeared to have a thinner face and wider, open eyes, drawing criticism from the public. Online users left contrasting remarks about her appearance as some bashed her.

Renee Zellweger attends the 2014 Elle Women In Hollywood Awards on October 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger attends the 2014 Elle Women In Hollywood Awards on October 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

"She looks like an entirely different person," wrote one person. "[...] Her face has been pulled, injected, botoxed, etc, etc. And I'll bet she uses the most expensive facial products on the planet," claimed another. One individual added, "She seems to have had an eye lift."

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Meanwhile, other people defended Zellweger with one writing, "She looks different but fine. This should give her some semblance of privacy if that’s what she was going for." Someone else stated Zellweger is just aging, "I don't think she had surgery. She simply got older."

Renee Zellweger at the 2014 Elle Women In Hollywood Awards on October 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the 2014 Elle Women In Hollywood Awards on October 20, 2014, in Beverly Hills, California. | Source: Getty Images

The Oscar winner has had to defend herself too over the years. She vehemently denied having plastic surgery in a riveting essay titled "We Can Do Better" on The Huffington Post.

Zellweger recalled a tabloid newspaper article that reported that she had likely had her eyes altered. However, she wrote none of that mattered because it was just one of the stories generated by the tabloids pushed by exploitative headlines and people who "practice cowardly cruelty from their anonymous internet pulpits."

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Renee Zellweger at the SeriousFun Children's Network London Gala on November 3, 2015, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the SeriousFun Children's Network London Gala on November 3, 2015, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

She added such tactics are the reason why women have succumbed to social pressure to look and age in a certain way. "Not that it's anyone's business, but I did not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes," said Zellweger.

In response to the supposed panic of people stating that she did not look like herself, the now 55-year-old questioned why she would want to change her appearance.

Renee Zellweger at the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby," 2016 | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby," 2016 | Source: Getty Images

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"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?" she asked.

Zellweger is nothing but content with the way she looks and has a positive perspective despite the negative reaction she received. "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows," she said in a 2014 interview.

Renee Zellweger at the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby," 2016 | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger at the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby," 2016 | Source: Getty Images

After mentioning that the public conversation about her looks was "silly," she further revealed that her friends said she appeared at peace and in a healthy state. The award-winning celebrity added everyone starts to look different as they age. "But I am different. I'm happy," she expressed.

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Renee Zellweger arrives for Universal FYC (For Your Consideration) special red carpet event on March 18, 2022, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Renee Zellweger arrives for Universal FYC (For Your Consideration) special red carpet event on March 18, 2022, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

Around that time, she was in a happy relationship with musician Doyle Bramhall II, which contributed to her overall well-being. Several years after they split, Zellweger started dating English television presenter, Ant Anstead in June 2021.

Ant Anstead and Renee Zellweger pictured on February 13, 2024, in Newport Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

Ant Anstead and Renee Zellweger pictured on February 13, 2024, in Newport Beach, California. | Source: Getty Images

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The lovebirds met while filming his show, "Celebrity IOU Joyride." Anstead had just finalized his divorce from his ex-wife Christina Haack then and the couple has been going strong ever since.

In early 2024, they were reportedly planning to relocate temporarily from Southern California to London. Zellweger is reportedly preparing to film her upcoming fourth "Bridget Jones" movie. She and Anstead have been dating for almost three years now.

Renée Zellweger's journey shows the importance of mental health and self-care, highlighting her resilience and strength in facing public scrutiny.

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