“The Thing About Pam” star Renée Zellweger covers the April 2022 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine photographed by Mel Bles and styled by Samira Nasr.
On how she spent much of lockdown on her own, tending to endless projects around the house, and how it helped with her creativity: “I was outside every day, building things and planting things. Nature does what it does and, you know, the squirrels and I were at war. Like, ‘Why you gotta dig that big hole there?’ I’m out there every day with my shovel and my bucket. Then I’m inside tinkering. ’Cause you get quiet and you get creative. Busyness is the enemy of creativity.”
On her interest in starring as the murderous protagonist in the prime-time NBC miniseries The Thing About Pam: “I wanted to do something that was lighter, which sounds absurd, because this is, ya know, based on a horrific crime.”
On her intrigue and interest in her character Pam in The Thing About Pam: “What makes Pam so fascinating is how benign she appeared. Everybody feels like, ‘I know her. I know that lady.’ Someone who looks like your next-door neighbor or the lady who would babysit you turns out to make some choices that are, to put it kindly, illegal. This person was so outrageous, this sense of entitlement—I thought, okay, as an actress, that’s fun.”
On her self-imposed hiatus between 2010 and 2016, where she took college classes in public policy and international law, traveled abroad, fell in love, weathered a breakup and took in a couple of dogs: “I needed to not have something to do all the time,” she has said 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.”
On her foray back into acting with making Judy: “[It] was a really nice way to rekindle my love for the process,” likening it to “making a thesis film in college, where it’s a private experience. And you just sneak off and figure your way through it with your couple of friends.”
On how her Hollywood story has not been without its battles, though she is adamant that she was never a victim: “There have been times I have been in, you know, on set,” she tells me, sharing a moment from early in her career, “where a producer’s ready for me to go ahead and take my clothes off. ‘Here, drink this wine, ’cause then you’ll do it.’ And, you know, I’m not gonna take that wine, but I would like a phone. ’Cause I have a phone call I need to make right now.”
On how she eschews social media almost entirely: “I don’t look at my phone sometimes until six o’clock at night”
This article originally appeared in the April 2022 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR, available on newsstands April 5.
Photographed by Mel Bles
Styled by Samira Nasr
Interview by Mickey Rapkin
Cover: Louis Vuitton Tailcoat Bomber Jacket and Lingerie Dress | Ana Khouri Earpiece | Van Cleef & Arpels Rings
Image 1: Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Tuxedo Dress and Pumps
Image 2: Gucci Coat | Ana Khouri Earpiece | Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello Pump
[Photo Credit: Mel Bles/Harper’s Bazaar Magazine]
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