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Renée Zellweger Defends 'Bridget Jones' Weight Gain, Reveals Why She Took Acting Hiatus

Actress Renée Zellweger is gracing the cover of Vogue UK’s July issue, where she opened up about gaining weight to play Bridget Jones.

renee-Vogue July16 cover
Patrick Demarchelier

Zellweger faced some criticism when she gained weight for her famous role, which she felt was a bit sexist. She said, “I put on a few pounds. I also put on some breasts and a baby bump. Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I’ve never understood why it matters so much. No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role.”

The "Bridget Jones" franchise made Renée one of the most well-known and busiest actresses in Hollywood, but she decided to take a six-year hiatus in 2010 after making almost 20 movies in 10 years. As for why she took a break from acting, Renée explained, "As a creative person, saying no to that wonderful once-in-a-lifetime project is hard. But I was fatigued and wasn’t taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me. I got sick of the sound of my own voice: it was time to go away and grow up a bit.”

Her break from Hollywood allowed her to connect more to people and live life like a normal person. Zellweger shared, “I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard, not be defined by this image that precedes me when I walk into a room. You cannot be a good storyteller if you don’t have life experiences, and you can’t relate to people.”

Renée returns to the big screen in September with "Bridget Jones's Baby.” For more on Renée, grab a copy of the latest issue of Vogue!

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