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Renée Zellweger has been open about how she took some time away from acting in 2010 to rest and recharge after an exhausting career. Her six-year hiatus ended with a role in Bridget Jones’s Baby and her Oscar-winning turn in Judy.
Starting this Tuesday she can be seen, in a physically transformative part, in the NBC true-crime series The Thing About Pam. As she continues her comeback, Zellweger is revealing more about what she did during her six years away.
On NBC’s Today show Monday, she told hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb that when she stepped away and learned “some things that were not related to work,” one of the subjects she educated herself on was international law.
Zellweger says she learned about the subject through public policy courses at UCLA, explaining that she’s just been interested in politics.
When Kotb asked if her studies were “toward an end goal or something you wanted to do in the interim,” Zellweger admitted she was “not sure.”
But, she said, “It’s one of my favorite things. I’ll bore you to death at a dinner party. Don’t get me started … ask any of my friends,” adding that she was “fascinated” bumping into a fellow guest on Monday’s show, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
While Kotb, Guthrie and Zellweger quickly ran out of time on the morning show segment, Guthrie wasn’t done, saying she wanted to take Zellweger to dinner to talk international law. The actress replied, “I’d love nothing more.”
Zellweger previously told The Hollywood Reporter that during her self-imposed six-year hiatus she enjoyed living under the radar, which included spending time on a farm in Connecticut, at a beach house in the Hamptons and her home in Santa Barbara. She also took some screenwriting classes at UCLA and wrote a TV pilot with one of her professors that she pitched to Lifetime, with the cable channel passing on it.
“I wanted to grow,” she told THR at the time. “If you don’t explore other things, you wake up 20 years later and you’re still that same person who only learns anything when she goes out to research a character. You need to grow!”
Watch Zellweger’s full Today interview below.
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