Renee Zellweger on actorly emotions: ‘I don’t personalize things & I don’t engage’

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Renee Zellweger covers the December issue of InStyle to promote Judy, her “last years of Judy Garland” movie which is getting significant Oscar buzz. I would even say that Renee is one of the frontrunners in the Best Actress Oscar race. Which… I haven’t seen the film, but the trailers are so bad and I just can’t believe that Renee is picking up all of this praise and critical acclaim for it. But we’ll see. As we all know by now, Renee got some noticeable face work several years back, only she’s still pissed at us for noticing. In some recent photos, her face almost looks settled back, and then… there’s this InStyle cover shoot. Where you can still see the work. Damn, Renee. Anyway, the cover interview is okay. She talks about aging and “going away” for several years and she tells a long-winded and pointless story about a bad breakup which was covered in the tabloids (the point she was trying to make was that tabloids lie, but guess what, Renee lies too). Some highlights:

What she did for her 50th birthday: “I imported. I had my family here for the birthday, and we danced all night and ate too much. It was good.

Aging is a privilege: “It doesn’t consume me because it’s inevitable. It’s a privilege. And, I don’t know, I’d rather celebrate each phase of my life and be present in it than mourn something that’s passed. I don’t want to miss this moment to be something that I used to be. That’s for someone else now. And good luck to them, because you have to survive a lot to move forward to your next state. I’m not saying I’m canceling my gym membership anytime soon, because I’m not. I’d rather be a healthy, productive woman in each stage of my life than apologetic. I also don’t want to perpetuate the notion that somehow moving forward in your life is wrong.

On the “actors are too emotional” claim: “Different hardships that are unexpected can sort of assist you moving forward. With this job, it’s peculiar because you’re not born with the faculties to know how to handle the things that come your way. I found that shifting your perspective is really important. I don’t internalize things, and I don’t personalize things, and I don’t engage. I spend a lot of time focusing on the work itself, not the consequences of the work or people’s perceptions of it…. I learned pretty early on. I was devastated about a breakup, and it was plastered all over the tabloids. None of it true, all of it humiliating. Never mind that living the experience [of the relationship] was plenty.”

Taking time away from Hollywood: “Well, I mean, it was nice to have authentic exchanges with people for a while. When you’re not on the radar, people don’t clock who you are; you’re just a person at the coffee shop ordering a coffee. You have conversations that aren’t about work. And when someone is having a bad day, it doesn’t change. They just have a bad day with you, and it’s a funny thing to appreciate, but I do. [laughs] It’s nice. It’s real and not edited. We meet as human beings.

[From InStyle]

Whenever she talks about her years away from Hollywood, I always feel like there’s something being left unsaid, is it just me? She doesn’t owe us an explanation, obviously, and it feels like that time off was something she did for her mental health, and so be it. But I always wonder what preceded it. What was the “f–k it, I’m going away for three years” moment leading up to it? As much as I always suggest that various celebrities need to take a break from the spotlight and just go off somewhere and be normal, few of them actually do that. Renee did. And it seemed to be the healthiest choice for her. And now she’s been rewarded with Oscar buzz for a Judy Garland movie. *deep sigh*

Cover and Instagram courtesy of InStyle.

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29 Responses to “Renee Zellweger on actorly emotions: ‘I don’t personalize things & I don’t engage’”

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  1. Lisa says:

    I like Renee and wish her well.

    • Esmom says:

      I do, too.

      As for her appearance, I think her face looks fine. Her hair, however, in this photo shoot, does her zero favors. Yikes.

    • Carol says:

      I do as well. She gave a great interview to Graham Norton about taking a break, saying she had worked so much that she was sick of herself and her acting choices and not having any real experiences to draw from because she felt like her main conversations were scripted words said on a set. She strikes me as an extreme introvert who struggles giving interviews and being in public.

  2. Let the Kenny Chesney thing die already, I can’t think of a single other relationship that was in the tabloids.

    Having got that off my chest, I loved her in Chicago and have always liked her. I’m not sure if it’s enough to make me sit through Judy though.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      She and Bradley Cooper were in the tabs for quite a while. She was constantly called his beard.

      I did see “Judy”, and yes, Reneé was spectacular. Got a LOT of Judy’s nuances down; you actually felt you were seeing actual real footage of Judy (that poor woman had *such* a tragic life).

    • Renee is fantastic in Judy. Give it a chance, I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

    • Ashley G says:

      Jim Carrey, Kenny Chesney, Jack White, Bradley Cooper… I know she’s dated more people… those are just the ones off the top of my head. All of those were in the tabloids at some point.

    • Nan says:

      She’s really good in Judy. A friend wanted to see it (I didn’t – hated the trailer preview!) so I went and I was really glad I got to see her on the big screen. The movie knows it’s kitschy so that’s a relief, and she is an absolute knockout as deteriorating Judy. Very, very moving, and she sang great too.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Except for her relationships with Jim Carrey, Jack White, Bradley Cooper…

  3. minx says:

    It’s really good to see her back in the mix.

  4. Snappyfish says:

    She was good in Judy. She is good in most all she does & the academy likes her. She seems nice & I appreciate that she acknowledges getting old is a privilege

  5. Cindy says:

    I watched Judy. Renee was really good, but the film wasn’t. Her acting was on point, but the script’s portrayal of Judy could’ve been more three-dimensional. I felt like Judy was more shown as a martyr of her circumstances than a truly complex woman.

    I wouldn’t mind a nomination but I refuse to believe that’s the best female performance of the year.

    • Snappyfish says:

      While I agree, the history of the Academy has always been sketchy. Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovitch. A good movie but not an academy award winning performance. Same of Sandra Bullock (who I adore) in Blind Side. Good feel good movie but not an Academy award winning performance. It’s what (or who) they like that year. The recent past has been better with performances more worthy of the award.

      • A says:

        I mean, that doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. People vote for the things they had the biggest emotional response to, even if it’s objectively not the best performance. That’s always been the stumbling block for the Oscars right.

  6. Allergy says:

    That hair is just weird. She also has the odd talent of always looking like she’s not really “there” when photos are taken. Why? I like her though and I wish she did more comedy work.

  7. donut_nut says:

    I have generally liked Renee, but she sounds so pretentious here. Why can’t actors just talk like normal people? They aren’t inherently better than anyone else.

    Who knows what she really looks like now bc these photos could be Photochopped.

    • Velvet Elvis says:

      I agree. I generally hate celebrity interviews. They’re usually so full of themselves with their high sounding bs.

  8. Loretta says:

    Renee is the frontrunner in Best Actress and I’m so happy for her!

  9. Other Renee says:

    I am so tired of actors winning top awards for basically mimicking dead people. There’s a difference between imitation based on studying a person’s mannerisms and voice and creating a character completely from your own imagination.

  10. Zantasia says:

    There seems to be something mysterious in general about the breakup, going away, and the surgery. I wonder if she was hurt by the partner and had “work” done to repair damage. That would explain the sensitivity around it all.

  11. Paige says:

    Her performance in JUDY is incredible. She really captured those last few years. My husband knew Judy garland then and felt that she so nailed it. It is heartbreaking.
    .

  12. RedWeatherTiger says:

    Renee was *very* good in Judy, but that movie was so damned depressing…I wouldn’t ever watch it again.

  13. SM says:

    Is her strategy to avoid talking about her face[work] having hair in her eyes at all times? It starts to look weird

  14. betty says:

    Renee was spectacular in Judy… don’t diss it (or her) until you see it!

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Whatever reason she went away I dont think she owes us the story. She has always come actors as more grounded than a lot of her peers which I have always respected about her. Happy to have her back in films and wish her well in the Oscar race.

  16. Meg says:

    See the movie-it doesnt glamorize her time as a kid at MGM but shows how her needs as a kid were neglected to make money. She had such a sad life

  17. Stef says:

    I love her as an actress and she seems like such a cool person. Don’t care if she’s had work or not, she looks great!

    She had dinner at the table next to me at a restaurant in Yaletown (Vancouver) a few years back. We ended up in the bathroom at the same time, washing our hands at the sink. She looked exactly like she does on screen and with a very relaxed energy/aura. I didn’t talk to her or anything, I didn’t want to bother her.

  18. enike says:

    Renee looks like Cate Blanchett in these pics, especially in the second pic