Renee Zellweger Talks Her 'Difficult Transition' to Fame, Says Bad Things in Her Past Have Made Her 'Unafraid'
By Rachel McRady
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After six years out of the spotlight, Renee Zellweger has made her triumphant return in Bridget Jones’ Baby. On Wednesday, the 47-year-old actress got candid with Chelsea Handler on the comedian’s Netflix show about her struggles with fame and her A-lister status.
“I don’t know when I decided [to be an actress]. I don’t really think I decided. I was just working,” she said of moving to Los Angeles in her 20s. “I’m not trained so I feel like every job I’ve got by accident because I’ve tricked them and they just haven’t found out yet.”
The Oscar winner admitted that while she enjoys acting, she’s not a huge fan of the fame that comes with it.
“I like the job. I really like the job,” she said. “ I like to go to the set, the comradery. Fame is weird to me. It’s not natural. You don’t have the opportunity to meet people in a genuine way.”
Zellweger’s first breakout role was in the 1996 romantic comedy, Jerry Maguire, where she starred opposite Tom Cruise. It was also a lesson in the toll fame would take on her life.
“With my family it was more of an emotional thing. I remember the night of the Jerry Maguire premiere,” she recalled. “You’re swept away, and there’s no more contact with your mom and dad. They’re left there, and you’re moving around shaking hands and taking pictures, signing things and saying hello. You have responsibilities that don’t include them. It’s like a distancing that they feel like they’re losing you in some way. We talked in the lobby of the hotel and [my mom] was so vulnerable. It broke my heart. It made it clear to me early on that this was going to be a difficult transition.”
It was a moment that has stuck with Zellweger throughout her career.