Renée Zellweger covers the April “Reinvention” issue of Harper’s Bazaar to talk about her incredible transformation in “The Thing About Pam” and how she explored reinvention as a personal project in both her private and professional lives over the last few years.
The 52-year-old actress, who has been in the spotlight for three decades, has taken on the role of a murderous protagonist in the prime-time NBC miniseries “The Thing About Pam” because it felt “lighter” even though it’s based on a “horrific crime.”
READ MORE: Renée Zellweger Was Allergic To The Glue In Her ‘The Thing About Pam’ Prosthetics
Pam’s “benign” appearance is what intrigued Zellweger the most.
“Everybody feels like, ‘I know her. I know that lady.’ Someone who looks like your next-door neighbour or the lady who would babysit you turns out to make some choices that are, to put it kindly, illegal,” she explains. “This person was so outrageous, this sense of entitlement—I thought, Okay, as an actress, that’s fun.”
The crime series’ executive producer Jason Blum notes that everyone wanted Zellweger for the role and “were all thrilled that she would do it but no one had any idea how well she would be able to connect to [Pam].”
Co-star Josh Duhamel adds that he was shocked when he first saw Zellweger in costume and “didn’t realize how ‘method’ she was.”
#RenéeZellweger was a fixture in our lives for many years before a hiatus.
And then, like a phoenix rising—in custom Armani—she was right back on top.
For our April ‘22 cover story, Zellweger talks with @mickeyrapkin about her next act—on screen and off.https://t.co/wQV1X0wlYA pic.twitter.com/S5Zxk89nGo
— Harper's Bazaar (@harpersbazaarus) March 24, 2022
However, Zellweger pushed acting to the side to take a self-imposed hiatus between 2010 and 2016 to take college classes in public policy and international law. She travelled abroad, fell in love, mended a broken heart and took in a couple of dogs.
READ MORE: Renée Zellweger Reveals She Was A Law Student At UCLA
“I needed to not have something to do all the time,” she says of that period. “To not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents.”
Zellweger dazzled right back into the spotlight with the making of “Judy”, which she says “was a really nice way to rekindle my love for the process [of film].”
She not only fell back in love professionally, but in her private life too, with TV personality Ant Anstead.
Around the time of “Judy”, Zellweger recalls watching HGTV’s “Celebrity IOU” in which the Property Brothers help a famous person honour someone in his or her life by renovating their home. At the time, Zellweger was still processing the death of her good friend and publicist Nanci Ryder and wanted to celebrate the two nurses — twin brothers named Jerome Cowan and Jerald Cowan — who cared for Ryder in the last few years of her life.
READ MORE: Renée Zellweger Is Unrecognizable As A Suburban Murderer In ‘The Thing About Pam’
A spinoff series — “Celebrity IOU: Joyride” — was created and Anstead was set to host. Zellweger jumped at the opportunity to participate. She was featured in the very first episode of the show in which Jerome and Jerald go home with shiny vintage cars while she “took home” the host.
Zellweger’s “Reinvention” cover issue of Harper’s Bazaar hits newsstands on April 5.