Zellweger took home her first major award of the season during Sunday's Golden Globes, winning Best Actress in Motion Picture -- Drama for her transformative performance as the late, great Judy Garland in Judy.
"You all look pretty good 17 years later. Thank you to the HFPA for inviting me back to the family reunion," Zellweger shared while accepting her award.
The actress went on to praise her fellow nominees and thank her team for always pushing her to be better. "Top doesn't matter. It's the journey that matters and the work that matters," she said. "Thank you for always saying, 'Just do the work, Renée.'"
Zellweger ended by noting Garland's impact on fans worldwide. "The conversations I have had internationally with people who just want to express their love for Judy Garland... has been a great reminder that the choices we make matter. What we make matters and how we choose to honor each other in our lifetimes can matter a great deal down the road," she expressed. "Thank you so much, everybody. It's nice to see you. I'm honored."
Judy served as something of a comeback vehicle for Zellweger, and the Golden Globes mark her return to awards season. Though she was previously nominated in 2007, her last Globe win was more than 15 years ago, when she won Best Supporting Actress in 2004 for Cold Mountain. (She'd won Best Actress the year prior, too, for Chicago.)
While collecting the coveted Desert Palm Achievement Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival earlier this week, Zellweger did reveal why the love for Judy means so much and what she'll remember most about her time making it.
"It didn't feel like making a film. It was really different to any experience that I've ever had before," she explained. "It just felt like a celebration. Everybody was in it for the same reasons -- motivated by this affection and admiration for Judy Garland -- and you could feel it, every day on the set. I can't imagine anything more special."