Me, My­self And I – Renée Zell­weger

Brid­get Jones is back again and ac­tress Renée couldn’t be hap­pier about it

No. 1 Magazine - - CONTENTS -

This month Renée Zell­weger, 46, is back on our screens at long last play­ing the uni­ver­sally loved Brid­get Jones for the third time. Here the ac­tress talks about how she gets into char­ac­ter, the changes she makes to her body and her rocky road to love...

The first time I took on the lead role in Brid­get Jones’ Diary way back in 2001 I was so ner­vous...

The pres­sure was more of an in­ter­nal thing, it was a respect for Helen Field­ing and what she’d cre­ated and an un­der­stand­ing that I was not alone in loving this char­ac­ter.

And then there was the fuss about my weight loss af­ter I played Brid­get...

When you read re­ports that you are starv­ing your­self, or that you are anorexic, it’s very un­fair and dis­ap­point­ing. It’s re­ally not very pleas­ant to read re­ports that say you’ve gone too far or this or that.

When I had to put on all the weight for the first movie I was thrilled, well to be­gin with any­way...

You can then in­dulge all your fan­tasies about over-eat­ing. Fan­tasies about non-stop choco­late con­sump­tion or your fan­tasies about or­der­ing the pizza and the spaghetti and the gar­lic bread. It sounds like heaven in the­ory. In all hon­esty, for two days it’s bliss and then you’re to­tally full, OK? Then af­ter a week your glu­cose lev­els are go­ing crazy. You’re up and down and all over the place. It doesn’t feel good, and no one wants to hear that, but it’s the truth.

For some rea­son Brid­get came un­der fire for be­ing a bad por­trait of women...

I don’t think she’s a set­back for women at all. If you look through the course of the book, she re­ally comes into her own, on her own. She de­cides to be happy now and not in some pro­jected myth of what the future might hold and the hap­pi­ness that might bring. She blos­soms, and if that’s not a pos­i­tive fem­i­nist mes­sage, I don’t know what is. It was scary com­ing back (to play Brid­get). Es­pe­cially since I love this char­ac­ter and didn’t want to dis­ap­point any­body.

I didn’t re­ally un­der­stand all of the attention that my ‘new face’ got but...

I’m glad folks think I look dif­fer­ent! I’m liv­ing a more ful­fi­fi­fill­ing life, and I’m thrilled that per­haps it shows. My friends say that I look peace­ful. I am healthy. For a long time I wasn’t do­ing such a good job with that. I kept run­ning un­til I was de­pleted and made bad choices about how to con­ceal the ex­haus­tion. I was well aware of the chaos and fi­nally I de­cided it was time to choose dif­fer­ent things.

I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with my love-life but my boyfriend Doyle is dif­fer­ent...

He’s a very sweet man. I’m very, very happy right now.

I’ve got a rep­u­ta­tion for al­ways be­ing late but it’s be­cause I’m talk­ing to fans...

I have missed flights, I’ve missed taxi cabs and I’ve made my friends wait be­cause of it. I’m learn­ing to be bet­ter at it but I’ll still feel bad if I don’t have time to stop to talk to some­one. I hate to dis­ap­point them, and I’m not very good at say­ing no.

I know that I should never have got mar­ried [ to Kenny Ch­es­ney] but...

There was no al­ter­na­tive but to let it go. I made the big­gest per­sonal mis­take of my life. I felt like a fool. I was look­ing for some­thing else. I just needed to put acting aside. I needed to sit still and not to worry about the dresses, the hair and the travel and the in­ter­views. I was go­ing through huge life changes at the time. I wanted to stop and just be a girl for a while. My mar­riage came dur­ing this time and it was im­por­tant to me.

I don’t know if I’d ever get mar­ried again...

I never say never be­cause I look back on my own per­sonal his­tory and it shocks me. If I would ever have said, ‘Oh, for sure this is go­ing to be in my future,’ most of my ex­pe­ri­ences wouldn’t have been on my list. So I don’t bother think­ing about it, be­cause I’ve learned that there’s no an­tic­i­pat­ing that stuff.

Renée and mu­si­cian Doyle Bramhall are very happy to­gether.

The pic­ture on the right sparked ru­mours of surgery as peo­ple make com­par­isons between her old and new face. AF­TER

BE­FORE

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