In the 1990s and 2000s, Renee Zellweger was everywhere you turned.
She became widely known after starring in Jerry Maguire, and then cemented herself as a household name with Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001.
She’s received three Oscar and six Golden Globe noms, and won an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA Award and SAG Award for 2003’s Cold Mountain.
In short, Renee Zellweger was a powerhouse.
Listen to Mamamia’s daily entertainment podcast The Spill where hosts Laura Brodnik and Kee Reece explain the disappearance of Renee Zellweger.
But in 2010, after a series of films that didn’t hit the mark, Zellweger retreated from Hollywood. Her break lasted six years.
In a interview with Vulture, Zellweger has explained why she decided to take a step back.
It was, in part, thanks to some words of wisdom from her friend Salma Hayek:
“She shared this beautiful… metaphor? Analogy? ‘The rose doesn’t bloom all year … unless it’s plastic’,” Zellweger explained.
“I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities,” she said, explaining that around this time she saw a therapist for the first time.
“He recognised that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life. I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”
This helped her realise that she was, for that first year, depressed.
"One of the fears that maybe, as artists, we all share - because we have this public experience of being criticised not just for our work but as human beings - is when it gets to be too much, when you learn that your skin is not quite as thick as you need it to be, what is that gonna feel like? Well, now I know. I got the hardest kick. And it ain’t the end."