Renée Zellweger: A weakness for rosé and animals

Renée Zellweger with Frank Rousseau


With her sulky pout, her little beady eyes and her reedy voice, you'd almost think she was a teenager still living with mum and dad.  As she turns 50, Renée Zellweger, aka Bridget Jones, tells us about her relationship with wine... 


You are very credible in “Judy”, the film where you star as Judy Garland. Rumour has it that when you play a character, it gets under your skin 24 hours a day. Even after you’ve finished shooting?


True! And that's why I'll never play a serial killer. I'd be far too afraid of slitting the throats of innocent people off the set! Actually, it depends on who I play. For example, if I play a character who has to stand up straight while chewing gum, when I go home I keep standing very straight and pretend to chew. 


I read that when you’re not filming, you like, amongst other things, to try good wines…


I love to travel! As I live in London, I regularly travel to Paris where friends who work in the fashion industry live. As soon as I can, I love to enjoy good wines, it’s true! The good thing about France is that you have choice. I've never come across disgusting plonk there before. Oh, yes, maybe once. A sommelier tried to palm me off with the ‘cuvée du patron’. When he saw the look on my face, he apologised and served me a more palatable wine!


If you had to take back one bottle, just one, to ‘perfidious Albion’ post Brexit, what would it be?  


You're a hard man! It's like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. I think I'd choose a Provence rosé. It’s pointless beating about the bottle, the best wines come from the South of France! I discovered rosés on my way to the Cannes Film Festival. I loved them so much that I took a few bottles home with me. Then unfortunately I put them in the freezer because I was told to drink them chilled! That was when I was completely hopeless when people talked to me about wine! I may still be today, but much less!


Who introduced you to wine?


Hugh Grant and Colin Firth on the Bridget Jones’s Diary set. After shooting, they used to open a good bottle of wine that we would enjoy amongst ourselves. Colin is a wine expert. Hugh never stops talking about the subject. He could write reams about it! 


I’ve been told you cry easily and that sometimes the slightest thing will make you burst into tears. Is that true?  


I'm very sentimental! It’s true, I blubber in almost all my movies. And it doesn’t take much to set me off. It also applies to the films I see at the cinema or on TV. The other day, I came across Bambi. I was literally devastated. Same with My Dog Skip. The hardest one to watch though is Lassie, Come Home. As soon as animals are involved, I can't help myself. It's like rosé - put a good bottle in front of me, and I just cave in!


For your 50th birthday, did you let the rosé flow?


What do you think? If I could, I’d have had rosé baths! (laughs)


Interview by Frank Rousseau, our correspondant in Hollywood  - Photographs: all rights reserved