Actress Renée Zellweger had all of us at “hello,” but then she said “bye” and was gone for six years. Renée Zellweger became one of the biggest and brightest Hollywood stars. She starred in critically-acclaimed films and portrayed some of cinema’s most memorable characters. She stole the spotlight at all the award shows and starred in several big-budget blockbusters. Eventually, she was one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood and was in major demand. Every director and producer wanted to work with her. The combination of her extraordinary talent, unique look, and personality separated her from the rest of the Hollywood stars. She just kept climbing further and further up in Hollywood.
However, she suddenly took a long hiatus from acting and disappeared from the spotlight. She eventually returned years later but the landscape of Hollywood had greatly changed by that point. Additionally, she looked vastly different and unrecognizable to many fans and the media. Her comeback was a bit underwhelming and her career stalled. It seems that Hollywood has forgotten about one of the most beloved actresses. Here is a look at 15 Reasons Why Hollywood Is No Longer Casting Renée Zellweger.
15 Six-Year Break
In the mid-2000’s, Renée Zellweger starred in just about every big-budget blockbuster and Oscar-worthy film. However, between 2008 and 2010, she starred in a few films that didn’t impress critics and failed at the box office. She was still in major demand but decided it was time for a break. In 2010, she took a hiatus from acting, which lasted 6 years. She said,
“I got sick of the sound of my own voice: it was time to go away and grow up a bit.”
She noted that it gave her the chance to enjoy the simple things in life and recharge her batteries. However, as she was working on her talent and relaxing, Hollywood moved on. The break cut off a lot of her momentum, and she hasn’t been able to reclaim her past glory.
14 No Interest In Hollywood
Some critics have noted that it might not just be that Hollywood is no longer casting Renée. Many feel that she doesn’t show the interest that she once had. Prior to her break, Renée had a hectic and intense schedule. She said,
“I was fatigued and wasn’t taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me.”
She enjoyed her time away from the spotlight by traveling to Cambodia and Thailand. Additionally, she volunteered in Africa to aid women’s groups. Aside from a brief stint behind the cameras and Bridget Jones’s Baby, Renée has only starred in two films and appears to be focusing on other things in her life. Many critics feel that she has moved on. However, she feels differently about her future in showbiz and is simply taking her time.
13 More Than Bridget
Renée Zellweger has starred in numerous memorable films. Initially, she gained fame for her roles in romantic comedies. She is often associated with her most famous role as Bridget Jones. In 2001, she starred in the critically and commercially-acclaimed romantic comedy, Bridget Jones’s Diary. This role cemented her place in Hollywood and raised her status in the entertainment industry. In 2004, she reprised her role in the sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. It would be over 10 years before she would reprise the role in a third film. In 2016, Bridget Jones’s Baby was released to positive responses. However,
despite the success of the third installment, her career hasn’t been able to return to its past level.
Additionally, she prefers to branch out and not be typecast as Bridget Jones.
12 Hollywood’s Short Attention Span
In 2014, Renée Zellweger had everyone talking when she made her triumphant return to Hollywood. However, she was a bit vague as to what she had done for the last several years and why she took a break. This only resulted in an endless amount of questions from fans and the media. One of the reasons she said she took a break was to experience new things and interact with people on a new level to improve her storytelling skills. She said,
“I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard.”
She added, “You cannot be a good storyteller if you don’t have life experiences, and you can’t relate to people.” However, Hollywood and audiences have very short attention span, and her hiatus hurt her place in showbiz.
11 Bad Decisions
In 1994, Renée landed her first major starring role in the horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation along with Matthew McConaughey. The film received negative reviews and did poorly at the box office, but Zellweger and McConaughey were praised for their performances. She’s been very secretive about her hiatus but admits that she struggled with her health. She said, “I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn’t allow for taking care of myself.”
It appears that she pushed herself beyond her limitations.
In an attempt to deal with her issues, she made some poor decisions, which interfered with her career. She went on to say, “Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion.”
10 Impostor Syndrome
In 1996, Renée had her big breakthrough as Dorothy Boyd in the universally-beloved film Jerry Maguire. It also starred Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding Jr. It was released to rave reviews and was a major box office success. Renée became Hollywood’s darling and a household name. However, she began to have a difficult time in her career and life. She noted that she felt she had “impostor syndrome” and often felt like, “This is the time you’re going to be figured out, this is the time you’re going to get fired, for sure.” The break gave her a chance to clear her mind, but upon her return, she was heavily criticized for her change in appearance. The amount of attention her break and change caused made her take another step back from Hollywood.
9 Cinnamon Girl
At one point, Renée wasn’t ready to return in front of the camera so she tried her hand at behind the camera. During her hiatus from Hollywood, she started to consider some of her other options and goals. In 2013, she co-created the series Cinnamon Girl, which revolved around the movie and music scene in Los Angeles in the late 60’s/early 70’s. The series was partially inspired by Renée’s own life experiences and her “real-life journey from small-town Texas to Hollywood stardom.” The pilot starred Alexis Knapp, Jade Bartlett, Brooke Anna Smith, and Allie MacDonald.
However, Lifetime passed on the pilot, and Renée’s attempt at producing fizzled away.
It could have been a whole new venture for her. However, once the pilot was passed on, she seemed to move away from that as well.
8 Bridget Jones’s Court Battle
In 2016, Renée starred in the third film in the Bridget Jones franchise, Bridget Jones’s Baby. She reprised her most famous role and was getting the chance to make a proper comeback. It was well received by critics and was a success at the box office. Instead of getting the chance to capitalize, she was entangled in a bitter custody battle. Renée’s boyfriend, musician Doyle Bramhall, was caught in a battle for custody of his children with his ex-wife.
Renée made it very clear that she wanted nothing to do with the court proceedings.
However, right after the release of Bridget Jones’s Baby, Renée was forced to testify in the case. She was just starting to build up momentum when she got caught up in the legal battle.
7 Lack Of Social Media Presence
During Renée’s time away from Hollywood, social media’s importance has increased among the rich and famous. However, she takes an old-school approach to her career and reaching out to fans. In 1995, she starred in the coming-of-age comedy Empire Records. The film features an impressive ensemble cast of future stars. However, Renée managed to stand out among the group and was widely praised. A lot has changed in Hollywood from her early days. Many celebs use social media as a way to interact with fans and defend themselves.
Renée opts to stay off of social media and responds to critics by writing op-ed pieces.
It would certainly help with her comeback and would have given her the chance to address the plethora of rumors regarding her appearance.
6 Rapidly-Changing Industry
Renée Zellweger starred in a wide range of films from romantic comedies to classic musicals. In 2002, she starred in the musical-crime Chicago, which also starred Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah. The film was universally praised and is one of the films credited with the comeback of the musical genre in cinema. Zellweger was also praised for her performance, which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. During her break, the film industry went through a pretty significant change. Musicals and romantic comedies still exist but they pale in comparison to the large number of big-budget franchises and superhero films. The roles she used to dominate are far and few between.
5 No More Once-In-A-Lifetime Roles
In 2003, Renée starred in the epic war film Cold Mountain, which also starred Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. The film was a surprise hit and was a major success at the box office. Renée was universally praised for her outstanding role in the film. In fact, she won a Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. During her break, she turned down some major roles that could have resulted in another Oscar. She said,
“As a creative person, saying no to that wonderful once-in-a-lifetime project is hard.”
Since returning, she starred in only two films, The Whole Truth and Same Kind of Different as Me, which was heavily criticized. Eventually, those once-in-a-lifetime offers stopped pouring in.
4 Her Change In Appearance
After 6 years away from the spotlight, Renée finally made her grand return at Elle magazine’s Women in Hollywood event in 2014. However, it didn’t go exactly as she had hoped since all anyone could talk about was her change in appearance. Most critics assumed that she had a great deal of plastic surgery done on her face. In fact, she was unrecognizable to those in the media and her fans. She wrote a highly praised op-ed piece in People magazine and said,
“Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older?”
However, the change in appearance and the hoopla surrounding it did hurt her comeback. Regardless, she is very happy with her appearance. She said, “I’m glad folks think I look different! I’m living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”
3 No Oscars
In 2007, Renée Zellweger was the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. She had risen to the very top of Hollywood, which just made her hiatus all the more mysterious. She’s obviously no longer the highest-paid and has struggled to land any major roles. Aside from Bridget Jones’s Baby, she hasn’t been offered anything significant. Prior to her short break, the offers were pouring, and she was taking on Oscar-worthy roles.
None of her recent films returned her to Oscar glory or got any type of buzz.
However, she does have two upcoming films that might revive her career. She will appear in the romantic comedy Best Day of My Life, which stars Sarah Jessica Parker. Renée is also set to portray legendary actress Judy Garland in the biopic Judy.
2 Hollywood Moved On
There was a time when every agent, director, and producer was begging to work with Renée. She was the go-to girl, and she starred in numerous memorable films throughout her career, such as Nurse Betty, Cinderella Man, and Miss Potter. She felt that a break was necessary because she wasn’t making all the right choices. She said, “When I stopped making films, it was because it became more depleting than rewarding.” However, she completely stayed away from Hollywood and wasn’t even seen at any major events.
During her 6-year absence, Hollywood missed her but eventually moved on. Actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, Margot Robbie, and Anna Kendrick dominate the roles that were once Renée’s.
However, she isn’t giving up on her comeback and noted, “I’m gonna take my time and see what happens.”
1 The Chaos
At the peak of her career, Renée felt like her life was in disarray and her career was in a place she wasn’t comfortable with. She said, “I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things.” When she was being heavily criticized for her appearance, she stood up for herself and wrote a memorable piece for People magazine. Her career choices are less than before but that doesn’t mean she’s done with acting. The break was good for her because it reminded her of what she once had. She said,
“I don’t think you can be good in a creative medium if you aren’t grateful for the opportunity to participate. I started to miss it and I felt ready.”
Despite the fact that the offers aren’t rolling in like they once did, nobody should ever count Renée Zellweger out.