Renee Zellwegger is a tortured soul

Renee Zellwegger, who we don’t see a lot of in the gossip news apart from her spectacularly failed marriage, has a new interview in Time. She’s guarded, vague and well-spoken in her comments but it’s clear that she’s having difficultly coming to terms with fame and has trouble with all of the constant speculation about her private life. She doesn’t sound like a happy person. It seems like she would rather bury herself in her work and stay home than go out shopping for designer crap and eat at the best restaurants and have everyone talk about her.

She said that she just got through the days last year and when asked about the hardest part of her year she almost starts to cry:

LIFE: In your new movie, Beatrix Potter best expresses herself through the characters she created, like Peter Rabbit and Flopsy Bunny. How do you best express yourself?
ZELLWEGER: Oh, I don’t know. I’m not a performer. I don’t want to hop up on a stage and go “Look at me! I’m Renée! What do you think?” That’s not me. What I do is very different. If I want to express something, it’s through the filter of a character. So I never feel exposed.

LIFE: You made the movie in a very difficult part of your life last year.
ZELLWEGER: It was important for me to make this film—going to work and being with my friends, getting through the days.

LIFE: What was the hardest part about 2006 for you?
ZELLWEGER: Well, I’m sure that if you buy groceries, you might have read something about it. It’s not on the top of my favorite things that have ever happened. [Her eyes well up] I’m not a superficial person. I don’t care about what’s on the grocery-store shelves. That’s just salt in the wound. But it’s not a television show. I lived it. It’s a very sad experience for anyone to go through, and it’s not fun when people decide that it’s a lovely thing to capitalize on. But you’re oblivious to that because you are living the reality of the experience—which is devastating.

LIFE: Are you two still friends?
ZELLWEGER: I’ll tell you that I was saddened. I’ll tell you that it took . . . it’s, it’s not something I could reason away. It’s something that I’ll live through, but I don’t want to talk about it beyond that because it matters to me.

LIFE: But is there anything that you feel you need to change about your life in the coming year?
ZELLWEGER: Yes. I need to find a way to manage the things that are very difficult for me in terms of fame. I need to find a way to have more grace in certain situations. I’m not good at the majority of things that come with celebrity. I like my job. I don’t mind getting up at three in the morning on the Isle of Man, working in a cowshed that smells like poo. I’m okay with 16-hour days. I’m okay with living out of my suitcase. I am not good at the commodification of me as a person—it’s dehumanizing. I’m not good at it because my values are different than that, and so I’m disappointed by it. But it’s not my place to be disappointed by it. I need to find a way to be okay with those things.

LIFE: Is it a question of trying to distance yourself from it? To care less about what’s written about you?
ZELLWEGER: It’s hard to not care. It takes a long time to realize the only way to win is to resign yourself to losing, because then you lose less. Because you are going to lose. There are going to be people who capitalize on your losses, on your sadness, and they’ll create it. I expect that if I have a personal crisis, somebody is going to sell magazines because of it. I expect that there will be paparazzi in the street. It’s the other side of fame. I’ve seen stories where people speculate about what it is that [you’re] saying based on your body language. It’s incredible to me that that’s where our society has gone.

When asked about what she looks forward to this year she says Leatherheads, a new movie she’ll be filming with George Clooney.

She almost makes me feel guilty for gossiping about celebrities all day. She seems to hate the personal price of fame and tries to avoid it, perhaps at the cost of a personal life. Having people make up shit based on your body language is what goes along with those multi-million dollar paychecks for a few months work. At least that’s what I tell myself so that I don’t feel guilty for dehumanizing the celebrities as Zellwegger mentions.

Paris, Lindsay and Britney seem like well-deserving targets, but people like Renee make me think twice about talking smack about famous people. Good luck Renee. There are a lot of fun superficial things you can do as a celebrity. Why don’t you try to enjoy them for a little while instead of hiding and making yourself miserable thinking about the downside of it?

A lot of people will comment on this article about how Renee looks and not bother to care or read what she’s saying. She kind of has a point.

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30 Responses to “Renee Zellwegger is a tortured soul”

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  1. Husband says:

    Very good post. I just saw parts of The Bridget Jones Diaries last night and enjoyed her acting once more. She probably is a lot like Bridget in her real life.

  2. alexi says:

    She can always pack it up, leave Hollywood, and start making art films rather than blockbusters. I mean she’s not shovling the poo is she? I can’t stand celebrities who complain over problems that the rest of us face, meanwhile they are travelling on the gulf stream. Renee, give up your Carolina Herrera if it all really bothers you THAT MUCH. Please. What a bore. Used to be a fan but now I find her to be a baby. Of course they have trials and tribulations, but she makes 15 million or so a movie. What does she expect? Go work in Africa fighting HIV. Live discreetly like Kate Hepburn did. Get a grip Renee, you are a big girl.

  3. julie says:

    Yeah, you know, I always have a problem when they give the message that says “I’m human, please treat me with dignity” but then pose for images that focus solely on beauty. I like her and I feel for her, but isn’t it driving nails in your own coffin a bit when you do these kinds of photos? The worst at this is Jennifer Aniston who’s always saying “I want to be accepted as a serious actress” and then poses in her skivvies. These modelling shoots are always as themselves, mind you, not as a character – so to some degree they’re setting themselves up to be a commodity. The actresses that I respect most are the Helen Mirren’s of the world who are good at what they do and don’t capitalize on their personal appeal to get more movie buzz.

  4. aneurysm says:

    you all make valid points but think of how much our world has changed, even in the last 10 years. celebrity isn’t what it once was. we are in a modern age, where information is filtered through as the minute passes. a bit more scary now i would think. but i have one question for her. if she is so fearful, where is her family…not a lover but her immediate family or close friends?

  5. Matt says:

    Good post. I think it’s terrible how harsh some bloggers and members of the media can be towards some celebrities. Idiots like Lohan and Paris ask for the punishment, but I don’t think it’s right to hound and worship celebrities to the extent that most do – even if the celebs supposedly “knew the risks” or whatever. BS. Being a public figure is one thing, but some of it is just criminal and inhuman.

    The end. 🙂

  6. Gigohead says:

    I agree with Alexi — I also believe that if you want to be “left alone” then don’t use the media when ever you need to promote your projects. Then expect not to be put under the microscope.

  7. Action says:

    Man is she gorgeous here! (heheheee..) What, there was something to read?! 😉

  8. michelle says:

    Look im not trying to be harsh but this girl chose to be in this profession alright she wasn’t forced into this.If she want to get out of the spotlight move out of hollywood and move to a small town or something. But don’t blamed the media they gotta make money too.

  9. tonya says:

    I know Renee…life is so hard when your a celebrity You work a few weeks of the year for thousands, millions in your case. You suck! No one even really cares about your celebrity, but yet you act like your some important artist that changes lives! Your just a whiny looser who married Kenny faggy Cheseny!


  10. kailie2 says:

    I like Renee, she’s talented and I heard she’s a lovely person but I can’t take this seriously. I mean, sure it sucks to be on the tabloid covers etc. but then she married maybe gaybe Kenny Chesney and filed for an annulment weeks later. What did she expect?? That nobody will comment?
    Oh, if she only cares about her “craft”, she should just do theater and independent movies, nobody would care to take her photo or pay her $15 million per movie. There is a way to be an actor and remain almost anonymous. They all LOVE the good side of being famous but they can’t take the bad side. BTW, I can’t stop staring at the gaping hole between her breasts. I’m sure she’d say she’s eating right and very healthy, blah.. blah. Right…

  11. just me says:

    I can’t believe some of you guys. It’s hard going through a break up, it’s worse in public. Everyone works but that doesn’t mean you want everyone at your job to know what the hell you are doing every hour of your life. Yes, I like to read up on star and all but I do take into consideration their feelings. Some must feel depressed, alone and with no one to talk to. They promote their work not their personal info. Alot of these stars get so depressed that they try to kill them selves like Halle did from a broken heart.

  12. xiaoecho says:

    Renee, if you’re lonely and feel that no-one understands you…get a blog

  13. Other Karen says:

    I think she’s just going through a sad period. A couple of years ago, she did an interview and she sounded like the most well-adjusted person in Hollywood.

  14. FF says:

    Was it her first marriage? If so there are two ways of looking at this. Either:

    1. She’s genuine and really wanted the marriage/relationship to work, and was disappointed when it didn’t and it led to a lot of self doubt.

    2. She’s just being a celeb and using her woes to get herself into the limelight – while saying that she isn’t like that.

    Seeing as she’s not in the gossip pages much I’d give her the benefit of the doubt and say 1.

    Plus, didn’t she date that White Stripes dude for a while and he was a total asshole to her? Which was when she lost all that weight and went brunette and ‘vampish’ for a while? I think she rebounded off of him into her marriage and the collapse of it all is making her kind of vulnerable.

    Hopefully, someone will have a big, platonic hug and she’ll feel better, and realise that it isn’t her fault if other people are morons.

  15. FF says:

    ps – the reason the comments here are mostly unsympathetic is mainly because people don’t think she’s that beautiful.

    You’d be surprised how tolerant and sympathetic being good-looking makes people.

  16. Anastasia says:

    I don’t get it. She bemoans all the attention, and then she poses for all these pictures and does this big spread and interview.

    And she’s in an industry (making LOTS OF BUCKS in that industry, I might add) that has as one of its BIGGEST downsides occasional negative attention. If you are Paris Hilton, constant negative attention, but she seems to like that, so meh.

  17. alexi says:

    thanks all, glad to hear there are others of like mind out there. Exactly. Fork over the big digs, the luxury limos, the cartier jewels. I am a humanisitic soul and don’t wish a horrible breakup on anyone. Yes, it must be god awful in public. However, what about working a 16 hour a day job at mimimum wage like most on the planet AND having a breakup, not enough to pay the basic bills, no healthcare etc?

    I really find it obnoxious. They lose sight of reality, and love the media when they win an award, promote a moive etc.

    the peace core is hiring Renee. You should be way more grateful for the good things, and take the bad things with more fortitude. You are unbelievebly lucky to have “made it”. If not, throw in the towel darlin.


  18. Bewilderbeast says:

    a) While I agree that it may be true that most people are unsympathetic towards her because they believe she’s not that beautiful, I think she’s beautiful and I’m feeling pretty unsympathetic too.

    b) I’m with the confused people… Here she is complaining about legitimate wrongs against her, trying to sound *so* deep, but then she completely undermines her point by continuing to exploit herself as a 2-dimensional female like other celebs. Maybe it would be excusable if she were actually doing something productive with herself besides sitting around and complaining about her fame, because then she wouldn’t be giving off the vibe that she’s actually enjoying it.

    Prove to us that you’re more than what we see in those pictures, Renee, if you care so much. You can’t be a rich pessimist and expect all of the poor optimists to feel bad for you.

  19. kailie2 says:

    I feel somewhat sorry for her but not for what happened with Chesney but that she ever considered she’d have a “happily ever after” with him. She must be really removed from reality to jump into a marriage with a musician she hardly knew and expect it to work. She makes me think of Nicole Kidman.. they both full of insecurities, want the attention and yet despise it when it turns against them. Why did Renee agree to have a photog from People at her wedding and Nicole organized a royal-type wedding extravaganza? All of that invites attention. You want to get as visible as Nicole and Renee, there is a price to pay.

  20. gavin says:

    Great Comment Alexi! I could not have said it better myself.

  21. Ginny says:

    Money doesn’t equal happiness. Just because she has lots of money doesn’t mean she has an easy time of everything.

    I can see both sides of the argument, but she seems to stay out of the spotlight most of the time. Let it slide. Some people don’t really ask to be celebrities, they just do what they love. Some of her films are blockbusters, but others do reflect that she takes care in her art.

    Maybe I’m just a push over, but she’s not being retarded and out of touch like many celebrities, she’s just sad. Granted, it was probably an interview for Miss Potter, and I think they kind of got a little personal with issues not directly related to the movie.

    Money, fame and celebrity status can’t make you happy. It can’t find you a partner that you stay with forever. Some other celebrities can show you that.

  22. anon says:

    Well said, Ginny. I do wish a stable relationship for people like her and ESPECIALLY Halle Berry. I believe a lot of it stems from self-esteem, or the lack thereof.

  23. AC says:

    Hey don’t worry. You don’t really talk smack about celebrities like her. You report on what people are saying and usually give people like her some slack. If everyone was like her and was private and composed there’d be a lot less smack to talk.

  24. Bex says:

    I agree with Ginny on this point. She’s had a rough year, who really knows how she feels in her heart about her marriage breaking up and what other circumstances in her life have come that no one knows about. I don’t know of any woman who wouldn’t like to get some beautiful photos of herself taken, so I don’t know why anybody takes issue with the pics. Those of us who don’t have celebrity status have no idea what it’s like to walk a day in their shoes. We should look at what she’s saying and respect her opinion. She was graceful and well spoken, not rude, obnoxious, or partially naked. You go girl.

  25. NYSailorScout says:

    I have to agree with Tonya. She works a few weeks of the year and she makes millions of dollars. HOW COULD SHE NOT BE HAPPY?!!!!

    She can use that money to go to university and educate herself. She can use that money to start her own business. She can use that money as a tax deduction and start a scholarship fund to help other people out with going to college. She has the free-and-clear opportunities that everybody dreams of. And still, that is not enough?

    People give value to their money, not the other way around.

  26. madmaxmedia says:

    I don’t get the sense that she is complaining about her life as a celebrity, or bemoaning how its so horrible and how things should be different. Being a celebrity is a mixed bag, she’s just commenting on that.

    I don’t get the sense that she doesn’t appreciate her life ON THE WHOLE.

  27. NYSailorScout says:

    That’s true. Maybe she was just commenting on one aspect of her life.

  28. ertarox says:

    I like her a lot, too. 🙂

  29. discobitch says:


    ha hahaaa

    nice one!

  30. psycgirl says:

    I think she sounds genuine. Her behavior matches watch she is saying – the limelight is harsh, and she tries to stay out of it. She not like other celebrities who bitch and moan and then go to the Ivy.

    BTW – those pictures are beautiful. And tame! What she said would be a little less convincing if she was on the cover of Maxim.