While a number of Renee Zellweger’s fans leapt to support her via social media after the Oscar winner issued a statement to People magazine about her obvious new facial appearance, quite a few major Hollywood insiders who know Zellweger well were not buying the actress’ comments.
“I think Renee made a big mistake to delve into this,” said a top film producer, who has known the actress for many years. “That’s the kind of tabloid stuff you can easily ignore. There was no need for her to say anything, one way or the other,” added the source.
Another publicist who has worked with Zellweger on several projects agreed. “Give me a break. Just look at her eyes! There’s no way she couldn’t alter her old squinty look simply by makeup or due to her being ‘happy’ or living a more healthy lifestyle.
“Frankly, I’m glad she’s at a good place in her life and in a good relationship [with boyfriend Doyle Bramhall II], but you can’t tell me she hasn’t had work done — very good work — but still it’s work!”
Online, social media exploded with comments both in support of Zellweger and expressing skepticism as that shared by the sources above.
One example of a pro-Renee comment came from Katie Ann Spenard, posted to Facebook: “I think she looks different but equally as beautiful. Her statements on being healthy and happy are the only thing that matters. Being in a peaceful place in life should be everyone’s goal. Great job, Renee. The people who are being negative don’t know what it’s like to make huge changes in your life! Keep on keeping on! ”
Expressing a bit more doubt, Zandra Cooper posted this to Facebook: “I don’t think she looks horrible…. just different. Getting healthy doesn’t completely change your appearance though. Glad she’s happy but just admit there has been some surgery. Nothing to be ashamed of.”
Robin Fuller Bates was quite blunt in her Facebook posting: “She made the same mistake as Jennifer Grey. Unrecognizable!!” — clearly a direct reference to the major plastic surgery Grey underwent a number of years ago.
In the statement Zellweger issued to People, the 45-year-old actress said, “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,” Zellweger said of the attention she received after an appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards in Beverly Hills on Monday.
Zellweger dodged whether she had any plastic surgery, saying only that the speculation about her appearance was “silly.” She told People she was stepping forward to address the buzz because “it seems the folks who come digging around for some nefarious truth, which doesn’t exist, won’t get off my porch until I answer the door.
“My friends say that I look peaceful. 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 and didn’t allow for taking care of myself. Rather than stopping to recalibrate, I kept running until I was depleted and made bad choices about how to conceal the exhaustion. I was aware of the chaos and finally chose different things.
“I did work that allows for being still, making a home, loving someone, learning new things, growing as a creative person and finally growing into myself.”