Renée Zellweger Talks Having Immigrant Parents and the ‘Strange Time’ We Live In: ‘I’m the American Dream’
The Oscar-winning actress previously opened up to PEOPLE about her mother's childhood in Norway during WWII
Renée Zellweger is her parents’ American dream.
In a new interview for Vanity Fair‘s Hollywood issue, the Oscar-winning actress, 50, spoke about being the child of immigrant parents, and commented on the country’s current “strange” climate surrounding immigration.
“American dream. I’m the American dream,” Zellweger, who just picked up another Oscar nomination, admitted to the outlet. Her father immigrated from Switzerland while her mother is from Norway.
“It’s definitely interesting today. It’s a very strange time. There’s a lot of fear, and then uncertainty. I wonder where that comes from,” she reflected. “I know that things we consider to be fundamental, in terms of feeling secure, and how we define ourselves in our lives and lifestyles are shifting quickly. I get it. And technology has just amplified that.”
However, when asked if she has hope for a better future, the star responded, “Yes. Yes, absolutely, because great things come out of adversity.”
The Texas native also previously spoke to PEOPLE about her mother’s difficult childhood, growing up in Norway during WWII.
“She was a tiny girl in World War II,” Zellweger told PEOPLE last week at the National Board of Review Awards in New York City. “There’s a World War II museum in New Orleans, it’s an extraordinary experience. We walked it all and we were looking in the glass cases and my mom’s like, ‘Oh,’ and she pointed at a series of hand grenades. There were a bunch of hand grenades in the case and she said, ‘We used to play with those ones. Not those ones, not those ones, but those ones. We used to play with those!’“
“She was living in an occupied country and there were bullets falling from the sky and you had to run inside because that was part of your day. And you’d find one every now and then,” Zellweger continued. “It was a real treat apparently. ‘Don’t pull the pin! You better run!’ And when you think about that being your reality as a child, can you imagine the value system that you establish? And my brother and I have been the beneficiaries of that. She’s cool.”
During her interview with Vanity Fair, the Judy star, who recently picked up an Oscar nomination, also opened up about her close relationship with her brother Drew. Calling him her “best friend,” the actress recalled the time when he helped her get through her first public breakup.
“He also helps me keep perspective, like with my very first big public breakup,” she said. “And it was really difficult, and my first time to really be splashed all over the tabloids in a way that…it’s an adjustment.”
Drew “picked up all the tabloids that were at the checkout center at the supermarket,” she continued. “He had come out to visit me because he’s like, ‘I’m coming up there. If we talk about this one more time, I’m going to literally come kick you in the backside.’”
“So he picked up all the tabloids, and we were riding in the car home, and his shoulders were shaking, and I thought, ‘Oh gosh, he’s crying, too.’ And I look over. He’s laughing so hard. He’s laughing! He thought it was the best thing in the world!” Zellweger revealed.
After that her brother began reading all of the headlines and comments out loud in a ridiculous voice, and soon enough both siblings were laughing so hard they began to cry.
Zellweger has recently been making headlines for her starring role in the Judy Garland biopic, Judy, which earned her a Golden Globe best actress win earlier this month, as well as an Oscar nomination on Monday morning.
Zellweger is also up for a SAG award for her performance in the film.