Renée Zellweger says plastic surgery rumors she faced made her 'sad'

From plastic surgery to Harvey Weinstein, no topic was off-limits in Renée Zellweger’s new interview with Vulture. She also talked about being diagnosed with depression during her six-year hiatus from Hollywood and is sure to get the rumor mill going by referencing an ex-boyfriend of hers who is gay.

The Bridget Jones’s Diary actress, who portrays Judy Garland in the new biopic Judytalked about the big to-do over her appearance — and whether she altered it — in 2014 at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards, which led to her penning an essay for HuffPost entitled “We Can Do Better.”

“There’s a value judgment that’s placed on us,” Zellweger said. “As if it somehow is a reflection of your character — whether you’re a good person or a weak person or an authentic person.”

The star, who was on a self-imposed hiatus from Hollywood at the time of the kerfuffle, went on to say that “the implication” was that “I somehow needed to change what was going on because it wasn’t working. That makes me sad. I don’t look at beauty in that way. And I don’t think of myself in that way. I like my weird quirkiness, my off-kilter mix of things. It enables me to do what I do. I don’t want to be something else. I got hired in my blue jeans and cowboy boots with my messy hair. I started working like that. I didn’t have to change to work. So why was I suddenly trying to fit into some mold that didn’t belong to me?”

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Actress Renee Zellweger attends the 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards on October 19, 2001 at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the 58th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 21, 2001 at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the Nurse Betty New York City Premiere on September 6, 2000 at Loews East Cinemas in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actor Jay Mohr and actress Renee Zellweger attend the 16th Annual MTV Video Music Awards on September 9, 1999 at the Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends The Bachelor Hollywood Premiere on November 3, 1999 at Pacific's Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the One True Thing Century City Premiere on September 16, 1998 at Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the One True Thing New York City Premiere on September 13, 1998 at Sony Theatres Lincoln Square in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the Jerry Maguire New York City Premiere on December 6, 1996 at Pier 88 in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Actress Renee Zellweger attends the Jerry Maguire Westwood Premiere on December 11, 1996 at Mann Village Theatre in Westwood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
American actress Renée Zellweger and Japanese artist, singer, and peace activist Yoko Ono attend the preview for the Matt Nye Spring 2000 collection, New York City, USA, 1999. (Photo by Rose Hartman/Archive Photos/Getty Images)
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HOLLYWOOD - DECEMBER 20: Actor Jim Carrey and actress Renee Zellweger attends the 'Man on the Moon' Hollywood Premiere on December 20, 1999 at the Mann's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
UNITED STATES - CIRCA 2000: Renee Zellweger is on hand for the New York premiere of the movie 'Nurse Betty' at the Loews Cineplex 19th St. East Theater. She stars in the film. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Jim Carrey & Renee Zellweger (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)
Greg Kinnear and Renee Zellweger at the photo call for the film 'Nurse Betty' at the 53rd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 5/12/00.Photo: Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
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Renee Zellweger and director Neil Labute at the premiere for the film 'Nurse Betty' at the 53rd Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, 5/12/00.Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect
Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger at the premiere of 'Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas' at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles Ca. 11/8/00. Photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect
383127 11: Actress Renee Zellweger arrives at the 10th Annual Fire & Ice Ball December 11, 2000 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Chris Weeks/Liaison)
Renee Zellweger (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
LONDON - MARCH 10: American actress Renee Zellweger, British actor Hugh Grant and British pop star Geri Halliwell arrive at the UK premiere of the film 'Bridget Jones' Diary' at the Empire Cinema Leicester Square on March 10, 2001 in London. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 19: Renee Zellweger is on hand for the 2001 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards at the Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, : US actress Renee Zellweger arrives at the 74th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA, 24 March 2002. Zellweger is nominated for Best Actress for her role in 'Bridget Jones's Diary.' AFP PHOTO/Lucy NICHOLSON (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Renee Zellweger relaxes after her 22-minute run during 5th Annual New York Revlon Run/Walk for Women - to Raise Funds for Women's Cancer Research, Awareness & Prevention at Time Square & East Meadow of Central Park in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger during Chicago Press Conference with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Bill Condon and Rob Marshall at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger wearing Jil Sander during Anna Wintour and Harvey Weinstein Co-host Screening of Chicago at Tribeca Grand Hotel in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger during Sundance Film Festival Archives by Randall Michelson in Park City, Utah, United States. (Photo by Randall Michelson/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger during Chicago Special Screening to Benefit GLAAD and Broadway Cares - Outside Arrivals at The Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
LONDON - DECEMBER 19: American actress Renee Zellweger poses at Cafe Royal in London in occasion of the UK 'Chicago' Premierr on December 19, 2002. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 10: *** EXCLUSIVE *** (ITALY OUT) Actress Renee Zellweger carries bottled water as she leaves her hotel January 10, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Arnaldo Magnani/Getty Images)
Richard Gere and Renee Zellweger (wearing Chanel) at the 2002 National Board Of Review Of Motion Pictures Annual Awards Gala at Tavern-On-The-Green in New York City. January 14, 2003. Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images
Renee Zellweger at the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca., 1/19/03. Zellweger won 'Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy' for Chicago. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)
ITALY - FEBRUARY 10: Renee Zellweger in Rome, Italy on February 10th, 2003. (Photo by Eric VANDEVILLE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 01: Renee Zellweger in the press room at the 55th Annual Directors Guild Awards at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, CA 03/01/03 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 9: Actress Renee Zellweger poses backstage with her Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and Outstanding Performance by A Cast In A Theatrical Motion Picture awards for 'Chicago' during the 9th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on March 9, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Renee Zellweger during Miramax 2003 MAX Awards - Inside at St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger wearing a Neil Lane ring at the The Kodak Theater in Hollywood, California (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger during Renee Zellweger Promotes 'Down with Love'Boutique at Bloomingdales at Bloomingdale's in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
Renee Zellweger during 2003 Tribeca Film Festival - 'Down With Love' World Premiere at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers Street in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
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Zellweger was unwillingly pulled into the Weinstein drama — despite keeping silent about the disgraced movie mogul, who produced the three films she received Oscar nods for Bridget Jones’s Diary, Chicago and Cold Mountain. That’s because, in a class-action lawsuit filed last year, actress Melissa Sagemiller claimed that Weinstein had told her that he’d received “sexual favors” from Zellweger and Charlize Theron. Through her rep at the time, Zellweger said, “If Harvey said that, he’s full of sh**.”

“It’s a hard thing to talk about in this context,” Zellweger said. “It’s such a big topic. And it’s personal and it’s not. And it’s something that’s always been there and the shift is overdue and you could feel it coming for a while and it was inevitable. And thank God. But, in some ways, I feel: Oh gosh, I allowed for the tiny cuts that just seemed like, ‘Oh, this is just how it’s always been.’ But I was never a victim of it.”

She continued, “I always felt that I knew what to do in those circumstances. I didn’t feel … accostable. I never felt that I was being insulted, demeaned. I didn’t recognize it as that. It was jocular — it’s a joke. And then there’s that other side of it: that I love male-female banter, that playful dynamic. So, it’s a big conversation. I’m sure that I was on the receiving end of something that I don’t even know about, in conversations that I wasn’t privy to. But it wasn’t something that I felt, it wasn’t something that I was aware of. I was very surprised by some of the things that were unearthed. I didn’t know.”

Zellweger again discussed her hiatus from Hollywood, during which found herself again by taking classes and living an authentic life out of the limelight. She said the time was “important” to her — and it led to self-discoveries, including her therapist diagnosing her with depression.

“He recognized that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life,” she said. “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.”

Thanks to that therapist, she came to the realization that she was depressed, she said.

“Nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right!” she said with a laugh.“It clarifies what’s important to you. And it shakes off any sort of clingy superficiality … that you didn’t have time for anyway. One of the fears that maybe, as artists, we all share — because we have this public experience of being criticized 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.” But she also wants to be perfectly clear: The rough patch only lasted a year. “I had a good five-year period when I was joyful and in a new chapter that no one was even aware of.”

She said that she is nervous for some young actresses who go from set to set and have a lost look in their eyes as they pose on red carpets.

“You can see how vulnerable they are,” she said. “When you’re not grounded, how can you have boundaries?”

When the interviewer said it’s hard to keep up that grind forever, she replied, “Well, you can,” she replies. “But then you’re really unhealthy and unbalanced and, you know, about to die. And then you look back on it and wonder what happened. And where are the relationships that you didn’t have a chance to nurture?”

The interview will likely cause rumors to fly with mention of an ex-boyfriend of hers who is gay. She mentioned it while discussing Garland being a gay icon — and how she’s been asked about her relationship with the gay community while promoting Judy.

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Renee Zellweger at the 'Same Kind of Different As Me' premiere
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WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Renee Zellweger and Ron Hall attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Greg Kinnear, Renee Zellweger, Djimon Hounsou and Jon Voight attend the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: Actress Renee Zellweger attends Same Kind Of Different As Me Premiere on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Pure Flix/Paramount)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: Actress Renee Zellweger attends Same Kind Of Different As Me Premiere on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Pure Flix/Paramount)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: Actress Renee Zellweger and Producer Darren Moorman attend Same Kind Of Different As Me Premiere on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Pure Flix/Paramount)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 12: Renee Zellweger attends the premiere of Paramount Pictures and Pure Flix Entertainment's 'Same Kind Of Different As Me' on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/ WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12: (L-R) Steve Fydeski, COO Pure Flix, Andrea Logan White, David A.R. White, Founder, Pure Flix, Ron Hall, author, Actors Djimon Hounsou, Renee Zellweger, Greg Kinnear, Michael Carney, director, Jon Voight, actor, Alex Foard, screenwriter attends Same Kind Of Different As Me Premiere on October 12, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for Pure Flix/Paramount)
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“In England, I was speaking with this gentleman who edits this wonderful periodical and he said to me, ‘What is your relationship to the gay community?’ And I thought, Oh gosh, here we go!” she said. “Now I just sound like a jerk, because I don’t think about it, which kind of sounds like, Oh, you’re just indifferent to it. And it’s completely the opposite! I had a very hard time answering his question. And then I thought, Well, what isn’t it? I’m not a wife of, I’m not a daughter of, and I’m not a sister of or a mother of [any gay men] But I’m everything else. Everything else! I’m the obvious: I’m an ex-girlfriend of, I’m a best friend of, I’m a mentor of, I’m a student of, I’m a client of, a partner of, I’m a neighbor, I’m a boss, a collaborator. I’m a patient. I’m a customer. I’m a constituent!”

She didn’t divulge who the ex was. Since 2012, she’s been dating musician Doyle Bramhall III since 2012, but her famous exes include Kenny Chesney, Bradley Cooper, Jim Carrey and Jack White, among others.

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