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Being a top celebrity in Hollywood takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. While some stars manage to balance the needs of their family with the demands of a film set, others choose to forego kids altogether.

Renée Zellweger, best known for her role in Bridget Jones’s Diary, is one of those celebrities that decided long ago not to have children, instead focusing on her career and ambitions.

She recently opened up about why she made this decision, and her honesty is empowering.

A lifetime career in Hollywood

Born in 1969 in Katy, Texas, Renée Kathleen Zellweger always wanted to be an actor. After high school, she landed her first role in Reality Bites.

In 1994, she met Matthew McConaughey on the set of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation. According to IMDb, she worked with him in a film and then decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career.

Zellweger got her big break starring alongside Tom Cruise in the 1996 film Jerry MaguireShe went on to work with Hollywood A-listers such as Meryl Streep, Jim Carrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Hugh Grant.

The Me, Myself & Irene star was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2002 and again in 2003 for her role in Chicago. 

The following year she won her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Cold Mountain. Zellweger won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2020 for her legendary portrayal of Judy Garland in the movie Judy.

Why the award-winning actor never wanted kids

Renee Zellweger at the 'Judy' premiere
Renee Zellweger | Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

In a 2008 People interview, Zellweger revealed: Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don’t think like that. I never have expectations like ‘when I’m 19, I’m going to do this, and by the time I’ve hit 25, I’m going to do that’. I just take things as they come, each day at a time, and if things happen, all well and good. I just want to be independent and be able to take care of myself. Anything else is just gravy.”

While filming Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016, ExtraTV asked the critically acclaimed actor if she wanted to have a baby of her own. Zellweger candidly replied, “I’ve never really thought like that about anything in my life, really. I’ve always been kind of open to whatever. Maybe curious… about to see what’s next.”

She explained, “I’ve never been deliberate about what would make me happy in my life.”

Women in most societies feel pressure to become mothers. Zellweger’s straightforward answers help break the notion that women are incomplete without children or all women should have children.

Other celebrities who don’t want children


Renée Zellweger Net Worth and Why She Feels Like an Imposter

Zellweger is not the only celebrity to opt to not have children.

Oprah Winfrey seems to have it all, except children. In a 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she revealed that she would not be a good mom because of her hectic schedule and big career goals. The TV network owner and magazine publisher said, “If I had kids, my kids would hate me.” She explained, “something [in my life] would have had to suffer, and it would’ve probably been them.”

Insider reported that 99-year-old actor Betty White has no regrets about not having children. She told CBS News: “I didn’t choose to have children because I’m focused on my career, and I just don’t think as compulsive as I am that I could manage both.”

Actor Seth Rogen once told Howard Stern both he and his wife don’t want children, saying, “We’re f—ing psyched all the time. We’re laying in bed Saturday morning, smoking weed, watching movies naked, just being like, ‘If we had kids, we could not be doing this.”