Renee Zellweger Recalls ‘Painful’ Moment Of Overhearing Commuters Talk About Her ‘Stupid’ Face

Katie O'Malley
Photo credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez - Getty Images

From ELLE

No one likes to think of someone talking about them behind their back, let alone when it’s regarding something so personal such as your appearance.

So, spare a thought for Renée Zellweger this week who has recalled a rather ‘painful’ experience when she overheard a group of strangers talking about the way she looked.

Earlier this week, the Oscar winner – who stars in the titular role in the upcoming biopic Judy about singer Judy Garland – opened up about how she felt after rumours came to light that she had plastic surgery following a red carpet appearance at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards in 2014.

Speaking about two women and a man discussing her looks on the Tube in London, Zellweger told SiriusXM's Jess Cagle: ‘They were talking about Hollywood and how Hollywood ladies are so silly, especially that Renée Zellweger.

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'How could she do that? Why would she go and have surgery on her face like we wouldn’t know? She doesn’t look like herself, and you can’t just do that where you go and don’t look like yourself, "cause we expect you to look like yourself”.’

Stunned by their conversation, the 50-year-old said she thought to herself at the time: 'Wow, that’s interesting. Anyway, here’s my stop.'

The actress went onto explain that after overhearing the trio’s conversation, she stood waiting for the Tube’s doors to open but could still hear the man talking ‘about how stupid I am.

'And he looked up and he said, "Oh God, you’re not — you are! Oh my God, but you look just like yourself!" And I said, "Yeah, it’s funny how that works, isn’t it?"' she recalled.

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Hurt by the strangers’ comments, Zellweger continued, adding: 'It’s only momentarily where you go, "Jeez, wow, that’s pretty painful." But I don’t live in that.

'It just visits my life here and there and I’m not really privy on that stuff until someone sends it to me. I don’t seek it out.’

Opening up about the surgery rumours in a recent interview with Vulture, the American actress stated: ‘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…

‘The implication that I somehow needed to change what was going on because it wasn’t working 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 star went onto say that there’s ‘nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right’.

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‘It clarifies what’s important to you,’ she told the publication. ‘And it shakes off any sort of clingy superficiality.’

The BBC reports that after Zellweger's new film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2019 this week, she was given a standing ovation.

‘In 15 years at #TIFF I have never seen a standing ovation like the one for Renee Zellweger at Judy,’ wrote Variety's Jenelle Riley.

Watch the trailer for Judy, which is out in cinemas on 27 September, below:

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