Renee Zellweger opened up about aging and sexism in Hollywood and other hot button topics in a new interview. The ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ star, who has long been a target of plastic surgery shaming, reveals her thoughts on maturing under public scrutiny.
The now 47-year-old Oscar winning actress took a six-year hiatus from the movies, and her appearance in the much anticipated new installment of the Bridget Jones franchise — based on Helen Fielding’s bestselling novels — sees her making the promo rounds and that includes a cover story in The Hollywood Reporter — you can see her stunning cover photo below. Sure, the movie itself is a much buzzed about topic, but even that is overshadowed by all the chatter that began nearly two years ago over her supposedly “changing face.”
It’s ridiculous, really. It’s not as if plastic surgery — which she denied in an essay for Huffington Post pointedly titled “We Can Do Better” — should even have any stigma. She denounced “folks who practice cowardly cruelty from their anonymous internet pulpits.” But it’s the underlying issue, of course, aging. That’s a life process our society doesn’t exactly embrace in any affirming way especially not when it comes to women.
Zellweger told The Hollywood Reporter, “I’ve never seen the maturation of a woman as a negative thing. I’ve never seen a woman stepping into her more powerful self as a negative.”
She went on to say, “But this conversation perpetuates the problem. Why are we talking about how women look? Why do we value beauty over contribution? We don’t seem to value beauty over contribution for men. It’s simply not a conversation.”
She’s been in the public eye for 20 years, since her breakthrough role opposite Tom Cruise in ‘Jerry Maguire.’ It’s absurd to not expect that she is somehow not going to be outwardly impacted by Father Time. In contract, we certainly don’t see any “changing face” stories about Tom Cruise!
As for how she stays upbeat and positive despite the rumors and speculation over her looks, she said, “”My main goal is to avoid any negativity that might enter my consciousness. If I’m not aware of it, then it’s not real. It doesn’t exist.”
She also opened up about why she choose to stay away from acting for six years. She said, “I wanted to grow. If you don’t explore other things, you wake up 20 years later and you’re still that same person who only learns anything when she goes out to research a character. You need to grow!”
She echoed comments she made nearly two years ago, when she broke her silence over the uproar over her “changing face” that saw many tabloids and celebrity news outlets making claims about what cosmetic procedures she may or may not have undergone. At the time, she said, “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 told THR what has been a part of that “fulfilling life” during her absence from the big screen. She said, “”Writing is something that has always been part of my life…I’m tapping into it because it makes me happy.”
You can see the full interview with The Hollywood Reporter, here, as Renee Zellweger opens up about the scrutiny, the sexism and the challenges of aging in the public spotlight.
Pictures: PR Photos