Renée Zellweger was sitting on the London subway, minding her own business, when she overheard a group of people gossiping about celebrities.
“They were talking about how Hollywood ladies are silly, ‘especially that Renée Zellweger. How could she do that? Why would she go and have surgery on her face?’” the actress recalled on SiriusXM’s “Jess Cagle Show.”
The riders were likely referring to plastic surgery rumors that were sparked by a 2014 red carpet appearance. Two years later, the Oscar winner wrote an essay for the Huffington Post, in which she denied having surgery to alter her eyes.
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Zellweger kept her mouth shut but continued listening to the chatter. When the train pulled into her stop, she stood up and walked to the door.
“The man is still talking about how stupid I am,” Zellweger revealed. “And he looked up, and he said, ‘You’re, oh God, you’re not, you are, you’re, oh my God, but you look just like yourself!’”
Clearly embarrassed, the gentleman began stammering about Zellweger’s “Bridget Jones” costar Hugh Grant.
“He said, ‘Wow, uh, you know, Hugh Grant!” Zellweger quipped. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I do know Hugh Grant. He’s a great guy. I’ll tell him you said hello.”
Zellweger admits comments about her appearance can sting.
“It’s only momentarily where you go, ‘Jeez, wow, that’s pretty painful,’” she said. “But then I don’t live in that. It just visits my life a little bit here and there.”
Zellweger noted that she is too busy to let these things bring her down. After a six-year movie hiatus, she is currently promoting her new Judy Garlandbiopic "Judy." Zellweger's performance as the iconic actress is already generating Oscar buzz. This week, she earned a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“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,” the actress explained about her time off in an interview with British Vogue. “You cannot be a good storyteller if you don't have life experiences, and you can't relate to people.”