Renée Zellweger Says ‘Humiliation’ from Plastic Surgery Rumors Taught Her to Set Her ‘Perspective Right’

Actress Renée Zellweger, 50, who stars in the upcoming Judy Garland biopic, Judy, said the “humiliation” she went through dealing with plastic surgery rumors in 2014 taught her to take more time out for herself and set her “priorities straight.” Ahead, learn what Zellweger learned from the public scrutiny and what she did during her six-year break from acting

Zellweger, known for her roles in Jerry Maguire (1996), Cold Mountain (2003), and the Bridget Jones movie franchise, experienced a new side of fame in 2014 when she attended the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards. Many people questioned her appearance when she stepped out at the event and wondered whether or not the actress underwent plastic surgery. 

Zellweger responded publicly but eventually retreated from the spotlight. Years later she commented on the plastic surgery rumors by writing an op-ed in the HuffPost. She recently spoke about the subject again during an interview with New York Magazine, according to People.

Renée Zellweger says ‘international humiliation’… ‘clarifies what’s important to you’

In the wake of the plastic surgery rumors, Zellweger started seeing a therapist, which led her to realize she had been depressed. While speaking to New York Magazine, she noted she had a one-year period that proved to be particularly difficult for her followed by five years of happiness out of the glare of Hollywood’s lights, according to Vulture

“I had a good five-year period when I was joyful and in a new chapter that no one was even aware of,” Zellweger said. 

She also said she came out on the other side a better person.

“Nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right!” the Oscar-winning actress said. “It clarifies what’s important to you. And it shakes off any sort of clingy superficiality … that you didn’t have time for anyway,” Zellweger added.

Zellweger admits she ‘wasn’t healthy’

During her time seeing a therapist, Zellweger learned a lot about herself. One thing she learned is that she wasn’t putting herself first.  

“I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities,” she said. 

It’s then that she cleared her calendar and took time to rest. But it took a run-in with fellow actress Salma Hayek at the airport — she said something about the only rose that blooms all year is plastic — and a therapist to get the star to take a break. 

Renée Zellweger
Renée Zellweger. | Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

“I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance,” Zellweger said. “I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”

The actress said she took care of her dogs who needed special care and focused on herself. Since 2014, she’s learned she likes herself just as she is, “weird quirkiness” and all. “I don’t want to be something else,” she said.

 After six years out of the spotlight, Zellweger returns in Judy, out in theaters Sept. 27. Watch the trailer for Judy, here.