It's been 12 years since Renée Zellweger played the lovable Bridget Jones and six years since she made a film. The actress is back and starring in Bridget Jones's Baby, having taken a hiatus from Hollywood. Why did she decide to step away from acting – and how does it feel to be back?
"I was curious about other things," Renée explained, speaking at a London press conference that HELLO! Online attended. "I had made a lot of promises to myself that I would do this and that. The cycle of making films is continuous – there's no time to explore other things.
"I wanted to learn something new and grow as a person and see if I had aptitude for these things that interest me. And if not now, it would be, 'Oh in two more years, or three years, then ten years', and then just, ultimately, you just don't do them. And I didn't want that to happen."
"I was curious about other things," said Renée
Renée, 47, added: "I hope I'm a little less boring than I might have been after just 25 years of being an actress and being in that cycle of making films. I mean I learnt a lot with each of those experiences but I wanted to learn something that had nothing to do with researching a character and I wanted to learn some things beyond the scope of what you are exposed to in film making in Hollywood."
"And I was craving a little normalcy," she admitted. "I have a new perspective. I worked on the other side of the camera for quite a bit while I was taking a little filming hiatus so yeah, I have a new perspective. And gratitude, a lot of gratitude to come back and begin again with this dysfunctional [Bridget Jones] family."
"I hope I'm a little less boring," she joked
Is she glad she returned to her Hollywood roots, and consequently the spotlight? "I don't really think of it as stepping back into the limelight," Renée admitted. "I'm spoilt rotten for the friendships that I have on this set, so it's more about that, that I think of. It's more of the friendship experience than anything else."
And of course getting to play Bridget again. "It's so much fun to play a person who's so open and awkward and self-depreciating but embraces herself anyway. I love that about her," said Renée. "And she has some pretty nice dates!"
Bridget Jones's Baby is out in UK cinemas on Friday 16 September.