Anna Gragert
Updated June 06, 2016 10:41 am
Karwai Tang/WireImage

Since she began acting in 1992, Renée Zellweger starred in at least one project every year… until 2010. At that point, the iconic actress performed a disappearing act when she decided to completely separate herself from Hollywood. This lasted for a total of six years and, during that time, Renée worked to find herself as she relished in truly experiencing life away from the camera’s lens.

I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard, not be defined by this image that precedes me when I walk into a room,” Zellweger told British Vogue, for their July cover interview. “You cannot be a good storyteller if you don’t have life experiences, and you can’t relate to people.

Considering that Renée was an in-demand celeb before she decided to take a break, we imagine that her transition out of the limelight was a difficult one – especially since movie roles continued to be offered to her. “As a creative person, saying no to that wonderful once-in-a-lifetime project is hard. But I was fatigued and wasn’t taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me,” Renée explained. She added that she was sick of hearing her own voice and wanted to take the time to grow as a human being.

Though Zellweger gave herself the well-deserved time for growth and self-care, that doesn’t mean she’s given up on one of her most beloved characters: Miss Bridget Jones. This year, Renée will be returning to the silver screen in Bridget Jones’ Baby. Yet, despite her enthusiasm for the project, that hasn’t stopped sexism and body-shaming from affecting her grand entrance back into Hollywood.

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I put on a few pounds,” Renée told British Vogue, when explaining that she was critiqued for gaining and later losing weight to play the part of Bridget Jones. “I also put on some breasts and a baby bump. Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I’ve never understood why it matters so much. No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role.

Not only are we excited to see Renée return to our screens – we’re also happy to see her shining a light on Hollywood’s double-standards. While we did miss the actress during her six-year break, we have a feeling that Renée Zellweger is now back, better than ever, and ready to inspire us all.