Renee Zellweger,45, was looking remarkably different from her ‘Bridget Jones’ alter ego at ELLE’s 21st annual Women In Hollywood Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel in California on Monday.
Renee was joined by musician boyfriend Doyle Bramhall II at the swanky event.
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The pictures are below.
Her appearance at the event has generated a huge amount of publicity (at the time of writing the pictures are trending on Facebook).
Maybe the reason we’re all so shocked by appearance is not because she’s had a facelift (as some have speculated), but because she’s been away from cinema screens for so long and we still think of her, 20 pounds heavier, in ‘Bridget Jones’ mode.
Her last credit was ‘My Own Love Song’ way in 2010. She played a paralyzed ex-singer alongside Forest Whitaker in the drama, but as far as we know the film was never released and wasn’t even reviewed by critics.
Since then, aside from a well-publicized split with Bradley Cooper in 2011 and producing a pilot for a Lifetime TV show in 2013, she’s been out of the public eye for the last four years, with no work as an actress on her CV.
It’s bizarre that such a popular and awarded star has been away so long, and also strange that an actress noted for changing her appearance for roles would come back into the public eye for apparently drastically changing her real life looks.
In an interview with The Independent last year she said: “I don’t feel safe playing the girl who looks like me. There’s not enough to hide behind. The further removed the character’s reality is from my own, the more fun and easier it is.”
She famously gained 20 pounds - and an excellent British accent - to play Bridget Jones in the film adaptation of Helen Fielding’s bestselling novel.
She lost all the weight again for ‘Chicago’, changed her hair colour for ‘Appaloosa’ and learned new accents for ‘Miss Potter’ and ‘Cold Mountain’.
She’s one of Hollywood most chameleonic stars and perhaps felt the apparently drastic new look was necessary to revive her career.
Zellweger does have a film out next year – a court drama with Keanu Reeves called ‘The Whole Truth’.
But the most obvious comeback for the star would be a third ‘Bridget Jones’ film based on Helen Fielding’s new book ‘Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy’.
There have been rumours of a falling out though between Zellweger and Fielding, and the films status is uncertain, with Hugh Grant already ruling himself out of the project.
Whatever the role, hopefully we’ll see Zellweger back in action soon.
Image Credit: Rex Features