With Bridget Jones’s Baby, her first movie in six years, Renée Zellweger is back in the spotlight. Subscribe now for an inside look at why she took a break from acting, only in PEOPLE!
After struggling with life in the spotlight, Renée Zellweger says she is finally healthy, happy and in love.
In this week’s PEOPLE cover story, the Bridget Jones’s Baby actress talks to Jess Cagle, the editorial director of PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly, about her struggles with fame after her career took off, her decision to take a break from acting and her return to the public eye with her first movie in six years.
“My personal life had taken a back seat to fulfilling my professional obligations. I felt a responsibility not to let people down. And so I just kept going,” Zellweger, 47, says. “And there wasn’t a reason not to. I didn’t have children or an established relationship that dictated I make different choices. And because of the choices I was making and the life that I was living, I had no time to develop that in my life.”
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The Oscar winner sparked speculation that she had had plastic surgery on her face when she attended an Elle event in 2014. At the time, she told PEOPLE: “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. I am healthy. For a long time, I wasn’t doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable. I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion.”
Now, when asked about those decisions, Zellweger says she took “bad advice…when someone else’s suggestion about what might be a good idea feels like kindness.”
But Zellweger, who’s been dating guitarist/singer Doyle Bramhall II, an old friend from Texas, since 2012, says she’s much happier with herself and her more balanced life now. She says she realized several years ago: “I don’t want to be this person 10 years from now. I’d like to become more of who I’m supposed to be.”
Zellweger returns to the screen in Bridget Jones’s Baby, in theaters Sept. 16.