Why Renée Zellweger Says It Was 'Serendipity' That She Met Ant Anstead

Looking back, a lot of moments fell into place for Renée Zellweger and Ant Anstead to meet.

For Renée Zellweger, love was basically written in the stars. 

It's been almost a year since reports first emerged of the actress' budding romance with boyfriend Ant Anstead, the TV host who was briefly married to Christina Haack. He and the Oscar winner met on an episode of the show he co-hosts, Celebrity IOU: Joyride -- an encounter that seems serendipitous to Zellweger now considering what led up to them crossing paths. 

As she recalled in a new interview as the April cover star of Harper's Bazaar, the Judy actress recalled watching an episode of Celebrity IOU, a series hosted by the Property Brothers in which celebrities show their gratitude to special people in their lives with a renovation. At the time, Joyride -- a spinoff that focused on cars instead of homes -- was in production with Anstead, and Zellweger wanted to pay it forward. Having recently lost her publicist and friend, Nanci Ryder, who died in June 2020 at 67 after fighting ALS, the actress worked on two cars for the twin brothers who cared for Ryder as nurses. And, as fans know now, the opportunity also brought her together with Anstead.

When asked if her boyfriend was possibly a gift from her late friend, “Yeah, we do joke about that,” Zellweger said. “She’s always doing her best. It made me smile. It made me smile to think on this, yeah, the serendipity of it all."

For Anstead, their fortuitous romance was not one he saw coming on a TV car show. "The right time is often the most unexpected," he previously told ET. "There's absolutely no way it was something I expected, but there's something magical in that, right?"