Renée Zellweger for Harper’s Bazaar Russia

Posted on April 13, 2012

Hey, whatever happened to Renee Zellweger anyway?


Renée Zellweger featured in the May 2012 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Russia photographed by Simon Upton and styled by Michael Dye. Hair: Ryan Trygstad. Makeup: Kristofer Buckle. All gowns by Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren Spring 2012 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2012 Collection

Ralph Lauren Spring 2012 Collection


It’s a cute enough editorial (although kind of aimless and unfocused), and it’s nice to see she can move her face again, but geez, we feel a little bad for her. We just looked at her IMDB listing and she hasn’t had a project in two years. And of the previous 10 or so movies, we only recognized or remembered a couple of them. The only thing she’s got coming up is another Bridget Jones sequel. What happened? She killed it in Chicago and then won an Oscar for Cold Mountain and then … just made a bunch of crappy, forgettable movies, it seems.

Like a lot of people, we had an issue with her back when she seemed to be fucking around with her face and taking her dieting to extreme lengths, but we always liked her as an actress. We’ve made the recommendation a dozen times before on the blog, but if you haven’t seen it, check out her and Ewan McGregor in Down With Love, a total campfest and parody of the old Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies, in which she pulls off a pretty dead-on Doris impersonation. Watch it for the art direction, if nothing else. It makes Mad Men look drab and colorless in comparison.

She looks good here; more like her old self. Hope you get your comeback, girl.

[Photo Credit: Simon Upton for Harper’s Bazaar Russia via,]

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  • Me Again

    She is giving WEIRD face in the cover shot.  It looks like she’s thinking “I think my armpits smell – anyone else smell that?”  But the clothes are fun and she was great in “Down with Love” – I second the T-Lo recommendation.

    • Amy J Albin

       I agree… that cover shot is strange and I cant put my finger on why.

      • Terence Ng

        I think it’s because if someone was actually making that face, the lips wouldn’t look like that. I think it’s a combination of make up, terrible Photoshopping, and maybe some lingering things that she might have done that have paralyzed her face.

        • Little_Olive

          I agree. I am with TLo’s assessment except on whether she can actually move her face again (because let’s hope she’s not actually moving her face to improve her usual look)

      • Sobaika Mirza

        I think it’s the Photoshop – there’s no smile in her eyes and it honestly looks like someone put a fishhook in her mouth and gave a tug.

      • kimmeister

        For me, it’s because that turban is making it look like part of her head is missing.

      • lamamu

        I think it’s that she looks almost exactly like Jennifer Westfeldt in the shot, another victim of the frozen-face sisterhood. Sigh.

      •ía-Gavello/1253586868 Lucía Gavello

        Her facial features seem oversized somehow, it might be the hat.

      • butter nut

        they photoshopped her so hard, they gave her palsy on the right side of her face.

    • mrspeel2

      If TLo didn’t say it was Renee, I never would have guessed it was her. Sort of looks like a very young Streisand.

  • judith traherne

    I would *never* have recognised her on that cover. Those lips… I just can’t.

    • Spicytomato1

      She looks like a cross between Madonna, SJP and photoshop. Definitely not like herself. Yikes.

      • NC_Meg

        I thought it was Madonna from the thumbnail on the homepage. I don’t know if that’s a compliment or insult and I don’t know who’d be getting which.

        • MeiraNiibori

          I thought it was Kate Winslet in the thumbnail… but I often mix up Kate Winslet & Madonna at first glance.  Definitely didn’t see Renee Zellweger, at any rate.

      • kimmeister

        I totally got Madonna from the first B&W shot.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    “Down With Love”. Good movie. Cute. 
    Don’t know what happened to Renee, or why the words on the Russian cover are in “Russian” but the word BAZAAR is still in English. 

    • alyce1213

      I can’t explain what happened to Renee, but Harper’s Bazaar is the copyrighted brand name — recognized in English in any country.

    • BerlinerNYC

      Her extended monologue where she reveals… well, SPOILER ALERT… is a thing of genius. One take, NO cuts. Her red carpet posing may annoy me, but I will not disparage her acting skills after seeing this bit.

    • Peter

      Who knew that “Renee” in Russian was “PEHE”?

  • PeaceBang

    What happened to her? She… um… became Candice Bergen? In that first photo? I think she looks lost and silly here, or whatever the opposite of “bringing it” is. I watched her again in “Chicago” the other day and realized that she was actually kind of bad in it, just surrounded by awesomeness and protected by a brilliant director. And I knew from first viewing that she was stone cold horrible in “Cold Mountain” with that ridiculous cornpone “Calamity Jane” routine. She’s an interesting creature. Loved her in “Nurse Betty.” But a model she AIN’T.

    • Ginger

      Yes to everything you just said, especially about her performance in “Chicago”.  Catherine Zeta-Jones was the true star of that movie, in my humble opinion.  Renee’s performance in the first Bridget Jones movie was much better.  As for “Cold Mountain”, that movie just plain sucked…period.

      • drdirection

        I would rather poke my eyes out with a rusty fork than watch Cold Mountain

        • michelle shields

          I hear ya!

          • Heather

            It’s funny b/c I live near Cold Mountain and climb it a couple times a year, and it’s absolutely nothing like the film. First, it’s just outside of Asheville, so it’s not exactly remote wilderness. Second, the film was shot in Romania and in no way resembles our terrain. But often while we’re hiking someone will spontaneously say, “Inman!” and everybody laughs.

          • AnaRoW

            Isn’t the movie set during the Civil War?  I wouldn’t expect that it looks the same then as it does now.  Most places looked different 150 years ago. I understand your complaint regarding the Romania thing though. There’s been this drive by people who’ve never been to Detroit to build a Robocop statue when the movie was shot in Texas and has nothing whatsoever to do with the city.

          • Glammie

            Yep, I didn’t hate the movie, but, boy, it did not have a sense of place or people when the book is all about a time and place.   All that cold blue European light.  

            And then the character played by Renee Zellwegger is clearly meant to be mixed race–it’s not clear to me whether she’s part Native American or African-American, but she’s not supposed to look like Renee.  

            Weird film.  

  • VioletFem

    I saw the thumbnail for this post on the main page before reading the headline and seriously thought I was looking Madonna. Am I the only one who see’s the resemblance?
    Anyway, on another note, I saw Down With Love when it first came out and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed. I haven’t thought about that film in a while, but whole heartedly agree with TLo’s assessment. It’s a fun film.

    • Kiltdntiltd

       I totally saw Madge in the black and white thumbnail shot.

      • Spicytomato1

        Me, too.

  • Michelle Argento

    Down With Love was my FAVORITE in college! 

  • NJScor72

    Always thought she was robbed for the Best Actress for Chicago… she lost be a nose (literally and figuratively).  I think she worked so much she took a break and then probably realized that sometimes the fame train just passes you by if you don’t stay on.  Always think she’s great although that second Bridget Jones movie stunk

    • Sobaika Mirza

      Am I the only one who thought Bridget Jones stunk and was only elevated by Gere, Zeta, and the Queen?

      Either way, she’s perfect as Bridge, and I wish they’d do a third on just to make everyone forget the sequel.

      • elleg929

        I was unimpressed by her in Chicago.  I didn’t get the hype.  Loved everyone else!

      • Natalie Marshall

        They are making a third one, called Bridget Jones’ Baby, I believe.

        • Liz Norris

          I enjoyed the first one, but the sequel was an abomination. I can’t believe Colin Firth is subjecting himself to a third one. Shouldn’t he have the wherewithal to say no this time? 

          • BayTampaBay

            I am sure he would say no the film but do you really think he would or could say “NO”  to that big bag of money?

      • NC_Meg

        I love Chicago but agree, Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifah stole the show. Especially CZJ.

      • mshesterp

        Bridget is one of my favorite romantic comedies period, but the 2nd was so bad it should be put down like a dying dog.  I’m not feeling the third one, but i’ll keep an open mind.

        I think she looks sweet here–not a natural model, but the clothes are working for her.

      • librarygrrl64

        Looks like you’re going to get your wish, but I have zero hopes that it’s going to be any good. Bridget goes back to Daniel, AGAIN??? (that’s not a spoiler, it’s in the description: )

    • AnaRoW

       A lot of actors see their careers slow down after winning an Oscar. Mira Sorvino, Marisa Tomei, Cuba Gooding Jr., Halle Berry, etc.  I don’t think I’ve even seen Nicole Kidman in anything (worth watching) in about a decade.

  • BrooklynBomber

    I thought the thumbnail was Madonna.  She’s good. . .  but that cover looks like a bad ANTM shot. How could they choose that one?

    • MilaXX

      glad I wasn’t the only one that saw that.

    • holdmewhileimnaked

      maybe it’s cos she looks so russian in that photo?

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        That was my thought too;  something…the nose maybe…is making her look more Russian? 

  • HomeOfficeGirl

    Definitely aimless – can’t really see her, can’t really see the clothes so… not much to say.  But, she’s super cute and I would love to see her in something new…

  • Kiltdntiltd

    It IS an odd expression on her face on that cover, as so many have said.  But she looks terrific in all of those semi deco themed, thirties decade clothes.   I have to admit to loving her in Miss Potter, which also has Ewan McGregor at his adorable best.

    • foodycatAlicia

      They do suit her, don’t they? It’s like they are very politely ignoring everything she’s done since Chicago. Don’t really care for her but I do adore that cloche on the cover.

      • Kiltdntiltd

         A lot of it is because she has precisely the correct face shape for that time period.  If you look at a lot of the it girls of the ear, like Clara Bow, ferinstance, same face shape.  So cloches work really well, plus since she has a lighter frame (read, not busty)  she can carry the long straight lines with authority.

    • Adriana_Paula

      I loved Miss Potter, though I have to admit I agreed with several critics that her costar Emily Watson shoulda been Beatrix.  She has the perfect otherworldly-without-being-twee quality.

      • Kiltdntiltd

         I agree about that.  But doubtless they wouldn’t have gotten financing for it without an A list star in the title roll.

        • Adriana_Paula

          C’est la guerre, mon Kilt.

          • Kiltdntiltd


  • RebeccaKW

    Nice to see her eyes open again.  I always like her in movies, but then when I see her on the RC or something, I don’t.

    • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

      Me too!  I think the girl can act, but she always looks like she’s got a stick up her arse on the red carpet.  I wonder why…

      • TheDivineMissAnn

        …it’s like she’s in pain or something…

    • girliecue

      Me three. She’s clearly a very good actress – I mean, she can make me like her in movie roles – but  I’m always disappointed and put-off when she shows up as herself.

      Edit: Well, most movie roles. Couldn’t stand her in Cold Mountain and am still perplexed why she was chosen for Chicago.

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    The cover shot is perhaps the most unflattering picture of her I have ever seen. Bad angle on her face. She looks lovely in these 20s styles, as anyone who has seen Chicago knows. She really did fall off the face of the Earth after Leatherheads (which no one saw).

    Down WIth Love is one of my favorite movies! The clothes are to die, and both leads are hilarious. Took me back to watching Doris Day movies with Grandma during summer vacation as a kid (my Grandma looks a bit like Doris Day and had all of her films on tape).

  • Warmheartedgirl Seattle

    The gowns and shoes are fabulous!  But she doesn’t look like herself in any of the photos. 

  • UptownNippy

    The cover photo scares me a little, it looks like a bazaar looking inhuman copy of Renee.

  • MilaXX

    I thought she was Madonna when I saw the b/w .
    I adore Down with Love.

    • Jennifer L.

      Agree with both statements!

  • kirble

    It looks like she just realized somebody is going to hit her. 

  • clatie

    She looks physically good but mentally deranged.  Know what I mean?

  • Rachel Sawyer

    Loved Down With Love–especially her Barbie dreamhouse apartment.

  • crash1212

    I love those Ralph Lauren dresses. Beautiful. Maybe the Russians have something in mind for Renee while she waits her next project?

  • hughman

    When I first saw the B&W shot used in the thumbnail, I thought it was Madge (Madonna)!! Oh girl, that is not the path you should be wearing. 

    EDIT : Lol, oops. I now see this was not an original thought. Great minds, etc.!

  • joe_tey83

    The cover makes her look like one of those people who had too much plastic surgery on their face.

  • VicksieDo

    “Down with Love” was so fun!

  • PastryGoddess

    Lainey calls it LA Face…and girl is giving it here.  It’s too bad she hasn’t had more success, she is a pretty good actress

  • formerlyAnon

    She’s always looked better to me in casual and/or mannish clothing. I don’t know why, she’s lovely (& not like Sandra Bullock at all, who looks awkward in direct proportion to the amount of girly glam she’s trying to pull off). But for me she always has a tomboy air as if she’s saying: “Yah, this is a pretty dress, isnt it? But let me pull on my *real* clothes* & stride across the room & it’ll knock your socks off!” 

  • guest2visits

    The Lauren dresses are amazing. I love them all.
    Renee’s over the shoulder pic was really sweet. The rest seem a little lost.

  • paultoes

    She looks exactly like Joan Osborne in the cover shot. 

  • giiiirrrr

    No more flapper editorials.  That is all.

  • Isabel

    She’s previewing the Downton Abbey Clothes that Lady Edith will wear in Season 3! (I predict she will go wild in London; Lady M and Lady S won’t have time for too much partying since they both should be married by then.)

  • Anathema_Device

    Down with Love is such a fun movie! She did nail it.

    I don’t think I would have recognized her in any of these shots if I didn’t know it was her already. I think the art direction is kind of crappy. She looks like Christina Applegate in that 3rd shot of her.

  • Laura

    I think she may have actually been intentionally taking time off. 

  • Claudia Berry

    She sucked in Chicago – the last song where she and CZJ are dancing side to side is so painful to watch – the absolute pro with the girl just going through the motions.  Her singing was awful too.  I’m so over her penchant for making ridiculous faces. 

  • schadenfreudelicious

    well i suppose we should be thankful that her typical “sucking on a lemon” face is absent from these shots…

    • TheDivineMissAnn

      ^^This.^^     What is that “lemon face”  anyway?  Man, it’s hard to look at her when she does that…

  • Jen Hughes

    I love Down With Love SO MUCH. 

  • jw_ny

    I always think when I’m watching a movie with her in it that it’d be so much better if someone else was cast in her role.  She’s on my ‘rational dislike list’  (yes, I did mean ‘rational’  😉 ) Why is she sneering on the cover shot?

    The green RL flapper style dress is lovely.

    • out for a walk

      Yeah I’ve never been able to stand her, but trying to put that aside for a moment, I really think I would want to punch ANYONE making that face on the cover of a magazine. It’s like we caught her in the act of something utterly terrible and disgusting and her reaction is a smirky and vitriolic “What, like you’ve never wanted to drive a riding lawn-mower through a baby seal colony?” 


  • holdmewhileimnaked

    lipschitz is really hitting it out of the park in his old age. the red velvet pantsuit, these superfab gowns, particularly the last one –boy, maybe he finally feels free to design what he wants [in the manner, perhaps, of when i’m an old lady, i shall wear purple or however it goes. my personal recommendation: wear whatever color you f’ing feel like whenever you feel like it. anyway].

    anyway, as for RZ: i wish she’d left her face alone. at least here she doesnt even look particularly like a plastic surgery victim. she just looked better, prettier, nicer, etc & ect before.

  • TieDye64

    The cover shot is odd. I mean, it’s not that it looks bad but, she looks likes someone else. Seriously, if I hadn’t read the title to the post I would have thought this was someone else entirely. I can’t put my finger on who. Hmmm.

    I ADORE Down With Love. It’s so campy and fun and lovely. I thank you guys for reminding me I need to watch it again. Love it! 

  • Jenna Kuhmann

    I bought “Down with Love” on discount at a video store (remember those?) years ago.  I watch it solely for the visual aspect, which is absolutely incredible.  I used to celebrate the end of finals in college by popping it in my VCR (remember those?!) and curling up with a pint of Ben and Jerry.  Oh how I miss those days.

  • Kayceed

    It really is going to be all Gatsby, all the time until that movie comes out, isn’t it?

  • Pamela

    Funniest clip referencing RZ.  EVER!! 

  • TigerLaverada

    What I’ve always liked most about RZ is her speaking voice. It’s really lovely. She looks pretty good here IMO, although that cover shot caught her in yet another version of her classic “just smelled a fart* face. 

  • Heather

    She’s actually great in two of those post-Cold Mtn. movies, Miss Potter and My One and Only, and Leatherheads was cute (she and Clooney had a nice rapport).

    But ugh… can’t BELIEVE they’re doing another Bridget J. movie. The first one is fun but the second one is absolutely dreadful. 

  • Heather

    Oh – and I love the shot of her looking over her shoulder. 20s-40s looks are her friend.

  • LJoRey

    What about the movie in which she played George Hamilton’s mother?! She was so good in that. Anyway, please come back, Renee. I always thought she had an early-Shirley McClaine-like quality and that if managed well Renee’s career could endure like Shirley’s has. When Shirley was about the same age that Renee is now, she also had a brief dry spell but came back with Being There and The Turning Point. Now I’m waiting for Renee’s Turning Point, pun intended.

  • AudreysMom

    No, that’s OK, Renee. You can stay off the big screen, even if you can move your face. I lost interest honestly, after Jerry Maquire.
    These clothes can keep on coming though. They are to die for!

  • Lyza M.

    Mad Men colorless in comparison?!  Doris Day?!  I MUST see that movie.

    I actually thought the thumbnail was Madonna and skipped over it (I know, some will be in horror of that…whatever), but then when I read the caption and saw it was Renee, I clicked through.  My favorite movie of all time is White Oleander.  Highly recommend.  I never hear of that movie too often…but it’s gorgeous.  The book is amazing as well.

  • Dejah_Thoris

    I absolutely love “Down with Love” and I also like her as an actress, but she looks more like a Christina Applegate impersonator than herself.

    Love the dress, not so much on her though.

  • DominoEstella

    she looks A LOT photoshopped.  

  • berkeleygirl

    For me, easily her best work is in a neglected little movie with Vincent d’Onofrio – The Whole Wide World.  Very moving and has one of the all-time great screen kisses…  I was going to post the trailer but, after finding it on YouTube, felt it didn’t even begin to represent the movie.  Just find it on Netflix or Amazon Prime – beautiful…

    • librarygrrl64

      I really enjoyed that as well. Again, a 1930s piece, which she has a great look for.

  • ziarah

    She is also great (and with Ewan again) in Mrs. Potter, which is about the artist/children’s author Beatrix Potter. 

  • quiltrx

    That CAN’T be her on the cover.  She’s not squinting, and her forehead isn’t shiny. :)

    LOVE the dresses, though, particularly the second and third.  I’d give anything to look like I stepped out of an episode of Poirot!

  • Susan Crawford

    I am SUCH a fan of “Down With Love” – primarily got yjr art design! As for Renee Z. – not so much. Honestly, between the bouts of stick-thin skin and bones and that odd facial smirk . . . I was skeeved out by her. This cover shot is dreadful! Badly angled, flat lighting, stiff-looking, wrong lipstick color. Now I feel so terrible for her I could cry. She looks so uncomfortable and sad, despite the pretty dresses.

  • altalinda

    “What happened?”  According to the headline on the cover, she’s returned from vacation.

  • LP

    My first thought was “she must be doing a Bridget Jones sequel” because she’s put on some weight.  As a naturally skinny lady myself, I don’t hate on women just for being thin, but she had more meat on her bones earlier in her career (thinking Empire Records) and looked cute that way.

  • LuisaNL

    i need the shoes from the second photo, stat!!!

  • tsid2012

    I have a totally irrational love for her, I miss her.  My guess is, she realized she made some very poor movie role choices and is trying a “take a break & refocus” method.  You can’t have a great comeback without a “hey, whatever happened to…” moment beforehand.  That said, she really does have a face for period 20’s styling, no?

  • librarygrrl64

    Evidently, a new Bridget Jones movie is in the works. Why? Who knows. The first one was fun, the second one was mediocre at best (a ridiculous rehash of the first, little to do with the second novel). They need to let it rest.

    Yep, totally thought the first b&w shot was Madonna, too.

    And thanks for the shout-out to Down With Love, one of my favorite movies.

  • librarygrrl64

    Evidently, a new Bridget Jones movie is in the works. Why? Who knows. The first one was fun, the second one was mediocre at best (a ridiculous rehash of the first, little to do with the second novel). They need to let it rest.

    Yep, totally thought the first b&w shot was Madonna, too.

    And thanks for the shout-out to Down With Love, one of my favorite movies.

  • ballerinawithagun

    You read my mind.

  • ballerinawithagun

    I didn’t know where to post this…John Slattery on Jimmy Fallon talked about his photo shoot and photoshopping. It was hilarious!  

  • LordZoe

    seriously. everone should watch down with love. it’s absolutely hilarious and I want to live in every room of it!

  • Gotham Tomato

    Who needs plastic surgery when you’ve got photoshop.


    • BigShamu

      When you’ve got large screen HD TVs.

  • BarbaraNovak

    Down With Love…clearly I’m a fan.  I like these photos, although I agree they don’t look like Miss Renee so much.

  • Candigirl1968

    Aimless and unfocused describes the current state of her career, as well.  After doing a lot of well regarded high profile work, she pulled a Reese Witherspoon and decided that what she really wanted to do is make throwaway romantic comedies.  Sigh.

    Pretty clothes, she’s not giving terribly interesting face, though.

  • fanneydg

    i love how human she looks. especially in that “omg i’m in a ralph lauren gown on an antique sofa and since i have over 1.50% body fat you can see a real back” – shot. for real. most women would have been backless in that shot.

  • KathKo

    Never could bear that actress. She gives me the cripes.
    I can’t begin to understand all the love she used to get. I never liked her movies and I find Bridget Jones character’s revolting.
    What ? Editorial ? Well, I can’t see past the “look, I try to tie myself back to the Chicago success. Can you see it ? Am I not made to play a flapper ?”
    Yikes, again.
    No, nothing can warm me up to her, sorry.

  • Vera

    Renee’s a poor model, but the dresses are cute. I just can’t on BJD #3.

  • nancymae

    Are the shoes in the second photo Ralph Lauren as well? They’re my favorite part of the spread.

  • Lattis

    “Down With Love, a total campfest and parody of the old Rock Hudson/Doris Day movies, in which she pulls off a pretty dead-on Doris impersonation . . . ”

    Speaking of Doris Day – is it too late to change my vote in Virgins v. Vixens, Sophia Loren v Doris Day? 

    Recently I have been compelled to watch a slew of Doris Day movies. This has led me to the bitter conclusion that I was uninformed in my earlier vote. 

  • bluefish

    Loved Down with Love!

  • M Carlson

    Glad to see someone else likes Down With Love. That’s one of my favorite movies.

  • TheOriginalLulu

    I like the clothes here. She just isn’t sexy no matter what they do to her, but she does look better then usual.

  • Sunshine16

    when I first saw the post, I thought the pic was Madge!!

  • lilazander

    Yeah, I forgot that Ib liked her…

  • Veronika Kaufmann

    if fucking around with her face was/is an excuse for being left by the wayside, what, pray tell, is the rest of Hollywood doing on the highway to hell?