It’s been six years since Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger has appeared in a film, but her just-released fresh, floral British Vogue cover makes it feel like no time at all has passed. The July issue, shot by Patrick Demarchelier, serves as a sort of announcement that she is indeed stepping back in the spotlight.
In the accompanying interview, the 47-year-old Bridget Jones actress — who stars in Bridget Jones’s Baby this September — reveals why she took a hiatus from Hollywood in the first place. “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,” she told the magazine, adding, “You cannot be a good storyteller if you don’t have life experiences, and you can’t relate to people.”
Her most famous role, though, has always been fairly relatable to women, even as she caught flak in 2014 for a seemingly altered appearance. For this new movie, she says, “I put on a few pounds. I also put on some breasts and a baby bump. Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I’ve never understood why it matters so much. No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role.”
The issue, which hits stands June 9, also explains that she said no to once-in-a-lifetime projects during her break, but that fatigue had caught up with her and she had to make tough decisions. Also, “I got sick of the sound of my own voice: it was time to go away and grow up a bit.”