'About to die' Bridget Jones actress Renée Zellweger speaks candidly about Hollywood burnout

Renée Zelwegger has opened up about burnout and depression ahead of her role in the new Judy Garland biopic.

The late 90s and early 00s were a busy time for Renée as she shot to fame with her breakout role in Jerry Maguire (1996) and went on to star in blockbusters including Chicago and the Bridget Jones series.

However, the actress’ busy schedule soon resulted in her experiencing burnout and depression, after which she took a six-year hiatus from acting in 2011.

Speaking to Vulture ahead of the release of Judy, the new Judy Garland biopic in which Renée plays Judy herself, the star opened up about her mental health struggles and concerns for young actresses just beginning their careers.

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The 50-year-old said: “You can see how vulnerable they are. When you’re not grounded, how can you have boundaries? You can’t just grind on forever, I say.

“Well, you can but then you’re really unhealthy and unbalanced and, you know, about to die.”

Renée’s hectic life as a young actress had devastating on her mental health, as she explained: “I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities.”

She added that she felt the need to seek out therapy, and in her sessions realised that she needed to carve out more time for herself.

She continued, “[The therapist] recognised that I spent 99% of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real lift.”

Renée also recalled a time she met fellow actress Salma Hayek at an airport, who went on to share a powerful message that would inspire Renée’s next decision.

“[Salma] shared this beautiful…metaphor? Analogy? ‘The rose doesn’t bloom all year…unless it’s plastic.’”

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She continued: “I got it. Because what does that mean? It means that you have to fake that you’re OK to go and do this next thing. And you probably need to stop right now, but this creative opportunity is so exciting and it’s once-in-a-lifetime and you will regret not doing it.

“But actually, no, you should collect yourself and, you know…rest.”

We can all relate to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, so make sure you carve out some much-needed relaxation time!

Isa Jaward

Isa Jaward is a journalist from London who has written for the likes of Time Out, The Guardian and Music Week.