Renee Zellweger’s Incredible Transformation Is Turning Heads

Renee Zellweger’s Incredible Transformation Is Turning Heads


Renee Zellweger is one of those celebs who
perfectly sums up the American dream. Her charming demeanor and serious acting chops
have helped make her one of the most celebrated actresses of a generation. Zellweger has embraced change throughout her
career to win some iconic roles, and many of those changes included dramatic physical
transformations. For every movie star discovered by chance
in a random mall, bank, or pizza parlor, there’s a celebrity who made the trek to Hollywood
themselves and kept the dream alive through every bit part and failed audition. Just ask Renee Zellweger. In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal,
Zellweger reflected on her early days in La La Land, saying, “I was 24 when I first moved to Los Angeles. I didn’t really know how to pursue a career. Every job I feel I got by accident.” After landing small appearances in movies
like 1993’s Dazed and Confused and 1994’s Reality Bites and a starring role in 1994’s
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Zellweger stumbled upon her happiest accident
yet — a not-so-little movie by the name of Jerry Maguire. Cameron Crowe, the film’s director, auditioned
several well-known actresses for the part that would go on to be Zellweger’s big break
— but neither Gwyneth Paltrow nor Mira Sorvino had quite what Crowe was looking for. In an interview with Deadline, the director
recalled thinking while casting the part, “She doesn’t even have to be a star. Maybe it’s better if she isn’t.” The casting director recommended Zellweger,
and the rest is history. Crowe added, “Renee fit that piece of the puzzle perfectly.” “Just shut up. You had me at hello.” Zellweger certainly stole hearts in Jerry
Maguire, but it was her portrayal of Bridget Jones that solidified her celebrity. Bridget Jones’ Diary was a highly-anticipated
cinematic adaptation of its novel precursor, which was a literary hit. The everywoman heroine is British in every
way — so the casting of American Zellweger was quite a shock. According to the BBC, actresses with considerably
more accomplished careers were considered for the role during a two-year search — including
Helena Bonham Carter and Emily Watson — but Zellweger’s charm eventually won over the
film’s producers. Not only did Zellweger have to perfect a British
accent for her leading lady debut — which she did to rave reviews – the actress had
to change her physical appearance. A recurring theme throughout Bridget Jones’s
Diary is the 30-something’s tendency to feel self-conscious about her weight. Zellweger told Us magazine in 2001 that she
gained 20 pounds to step into character — going from 110 pounds to 130 pounds in a matter
of months. Despite the depiction of the heroine as “chubby,”
the Post was quick to note that 130 pounds on Zellweger’s 5’5″ frame is far from unhealthy. In fact, it’s well within the normal weight
range for a woman of Zellweger’s stature. Though the length of Zellweger’s mane stayed
pretty much the same, the actress stepped out on many a red carpet in late 2004 and
early 2005 without her signature blonde tresses. Instead, her golden locks had been replaced
by a deep-brunette ‘do. While it was a far cry from the golden blonde
fans knew and loved, Zellweger’s dark hair perfectly complemented her fair skin and light
blue eyes. Whether she anticipated it or not, Zellweger
was also about to change her life — for better or for worse. In January 2005, the Hollywood starlet met
country music superstar Kenny Chesney. The pair fell in love, had a whirlwind romance,
and wed in a beachside ceremony in May 2005, according to People magazine. By the day of her wedding, Zellweger had traded
her dark tresses for her natural blonde strands. But as many whirlwind romances go, Zellweger
and Chesney’s marriage ended only four months after their beautiful wedding ceremony. In a joint statement, Zellweger and Chesney
said that, quote, “the miscommunication of the objective of their marriage at the start”
was the underlying cause of the September 2005 annulment. “The only fraud that was committed was me
thinking that I knew what it was like, that I really understood what it meant to be married
and I really didn’t.” You’d be hard pressed to find a person who
hasn’t felt pressure to look a certain way or conform to societal beauty standards in
order to be considered “attractive.” For a person living their life in the public
eye, that pressure is multiplied infinitely. Generally speaking, celebrities possess seemingly
unattainable levels of attractiveness. As most stars will tell you themselves, it
takes a village to make it look like you just stepped off the cover of Vogue. When you’re used to the luxury of looking
perfectly put-together all the time, the thought of going without makeup can be, well, frightening. However, Zellweger welcomed the opportunity
to go makeup-free for her Oscar-winning Cold Mountain performance. Speaking with ABC News about the 2003 film,
she said, “I find there’s so much more freedom in the
parts where you don’t have to constantly be concerned about looking right. [Ruby] looked like where the day led her.” According to a 2003 press junket interview
for the film adaptation of Broadway’s hit musical Chicago, Zellweger had never seen
— or even read — Chicago when she was asked to audition for the part of Roxie Hart. She explained, “I thought, ‘No, I don’t think I should do
[the movie],’ ’cause I didn’t have enough understanding of it.” Though she was reluctant, Chicago director
Rob Marshall convinced Zellweger to join the production during their first meeting. Zellweger recalled how Marshall convinced
her to abandon her initial reservations through his wealth of insight, wisdom, and insistence
that all the singing and dancing Zellweger was concerned she wouldn’t be able to do would
be just fine. After six weeks of voice and dance lessons,
Zellweger stepped confidently into the role of a lifetime — delivering a performance
that earned her an Oscar nomination. Little did Zellweger know that her iconic
performance in Chicago wouldn’t be the last time she used her newfound vocal talent on
screen. The weeks of voice lessons certainly came
in handy when Zellweger stepped into her next musical role — this time, though, she traded
her tap shoes for a wheelchair. My Own Love Song tells the story of Zellweger’s
character Jane, a wheelchair-bound singer, and Forest Whitaker’s character Joey, a former
fireman. The soundtrack for the film featured 16 new
Bob Dylan songs — some of which were covered by Zellweger in her heartfelt performance. The film was met with widely negative reviews
— though Zellweger and Whitaker’s performances were praised. IFC said her portrayal of Jane was: “Zellweger’s first genuine performance in
years.” According to Variety, which called her performance
forceful, “Zellweger resonates beyond the feebleness
of the dialogue.” They can’t all be box office hits, but Zellweger
seems to always be on her A-game. Nothing makes headlines in Hollywood quite
like an actress’ big hair chop. Just before My Own Love Song hit theaters
in 2010, Zellweger chopped off her long, blonde locks and traded them for an adorable cropped
‘do. This wasn’t the first time Zellweger found
herself in the news for getting a trim — she debuted a fun pixie cut on the red carpet
at Bee Movie’s 2007 premiere. There are a ton of benefits to having super
short hair. Less shower time, less styling time, no more
vanishing ponytail holders — honestly, who hasn’t considered biting the bullet and going
through with a dramatic chop? That said, if you’ve always had a lengthy
‘do, making the decision to chop it off requires a certain amount of bravery — especially
if you’re a celebrity. While the average person would likely only
have to worry about what their friends and family might say, celebrities like Zellweger
have the distinct privilege of being put on trial in the court of public opinion. Luckily, the chop was well-received. Is there a look Zellweger can’t pull off? In 2014, at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards,
Zellweger walked the red carpet and posed for photos looking — well, not like herself. Her appearance sent shockwaves throughout
the entertainment news-sphere. Suddenly, Zellweger was the news — a stark
contrast to her long hiatus. Responding to the buzz about her new look,
Zellweger told People magazine at the time, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling
life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.” Zellweger certainly seemed genuine in her
response to the criticism her so-called “new” face received, but the star’s happiness wasn’t
enough to stave off swirling rumors of plastic surgery. Responding to a 2016 Variety article that
went in depth about the possibility she’d had plastic surgery, Zellweger penned an op-ed
for The Huffington Post simply titled, “We Can Do Better.” In it she noted, “Not that it’s anyone’s business, but I did
not make a decision to alter my face and have surgery on my eyes.” In 2019 the actress revealed that the incessant
chatter about her looks landed her in therapy. Luckily, working with a professional helped
Zellweger refocus on what’s truly important in life. In an interview with Vulture, she joked, “Nothing like international humiliation to
set your perspective right! […] It clarifies what’s important to you. And it shakes off any sort of clingy superficiality.” According to Zellweger, while the rest of
the world was abuzz with talk of her rumored plastic surgery, she was busy enjoying life
away from the spotlight. In a September 2019 Vulture profile, journalist
Jonathan Van Meter wrote, “It must be said: Zellweger looks great; she
looks like herself again.” Van Meter noted that whatever cosmetic work
Zellweger was rumored to have done to her trademark, quote, “crinkly and comically expressive”
eyes was clearly temporary — even though Zellweger has stated that she didn’t undergo
any sort of cosmetic procedure to alter her eyes. Discussing one of the worst parts of having
the media and general public speculate on whether or not she had plastic surgery, Zellweger
told Vulture, “The implication that I somehow needed to
change what was going on because it wasn’t working. […] That makes me sad. I don’t look at beauty in that way. And I don’t think of myself in that way. I like my weird quirkiness, my off-kilter
mix of things. It enables me to do what I do. I don’t want to be something else.” Zellweger certainly has an incredible ability
to completely transform herself in order to fit a director’s vision for a particular character. However, as she proved in early 2018, the
actress can just as seamlessly transform into one of the most beloved actresses of all time. On March 19th, 2018, the first look of Zellweger
in the Judy Garland biopic was released, sending Zellweger and Garland fans alike somewhere
over the rainbow. Judy, which is about Garland’s later years
and final performances, didn’t have a release date at the time Variety debuted the first-look
photo — but one look was all fans needed to go crazy over the uncanny resemblance Zellweger
bears to Garland. Garland had a notoriously beautiful and distinct
singing voice, so no movie about her life would be quite complete without featuring
her most iconic performances. According to Entertainment Tonight, Zellweger
took on the task of covering those iconic performances with her own distinctive voice. As seen in the movie’s trailer, Zellweger
could easily pass for Judy Garland’s twin. However, even though looking the part is an
important component of playing a Hollywood legend, many were curious to discover if Zellweger
could truly capture the icon’s essence. Luckily, Zellweger has never been one to disappoint. According to the cast and crew of 2019’s Judy,
the film showcases one of Zellweger’s most incredible transformations yet. Rosalyn Wilder, a producer’s assistant at
London’s Talk of the Town — the famous nightclub at which Judy Garland once had a residency
— said in a featurette for Judy that she was floored by the way Zellweger transformed
into Garland. “I was absolutely stunned. I’ve never seen such a transformation.” Actress Jessie Buckley, who appears alongside
Zellweger in Judy, was also blown away by her co-star’s performance. “It’s literally like Judy’s in the room when
she comes into character. Renee doesn’t look like Renee anymore.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more List videos about your favorite
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11 comments on “Renee Zellweger’s Incredible Transformation Is Turning Heads

  1. Muna Artemis Post author

    it would be nice to see actors like her and brendan fraser make a come back .just because they have been gone for awhile from the screen and their appearance has changed doesnt mean their acting isnt brillant.id still watch them just becuase they are talented actors.

    Reply

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