Renée Zellweger is opening up about those infamous plastic surgery headlines five years ago and why she needed to step away from the spotlight for much of this past decade.

The Oscar winner, 50, described feeling “sad” after a red carpet appearance in 2014 had the world convinced she had undergone plastic surgery.

“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,” she shared.

“There’s a value judgment that’s placed on us. As if it somehow is a reflection of your character — whether you’re a good person or a weak person or an authentic person,” Zellweger explained. “And 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.”

The Dazed and Confused alum also notes, “I got hired in my blue jeans and cowboy boots with my messy hair. I started working like that. I didn’t have to change to work. So why was I suddenly trying to fit into some mold that didn’t belong to me?”

“One of the fears that maybe, as artists, we all share — because we have this public experience of being criticized not just for our work but as human beings — is when it gets to be too much, when you learn that your skin is not quite as thick as you need it to be, what is that gonna feel like? Well, now I know. I got the hardest kick. And it ain’t the end,” the star, who plays famed actress Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy added.

The acclaimed actress also looked back to her absence from acting almost a decade ago.

“I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities,” Zellweger says of life before her break. “I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”


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