Back when I used to work at Sports Illustrated, a colleague named Jennifer Wulff did an amazing Renee Zellweger impersonation. She’d squish her cheeks real tight and, with her lips as close together as humanly possible, blurt out, “You had me at hello!”
It was hilarious stuff, because Zellweger—talented, gorgeous—had a very squishy face. It wasn’t, by any means, unattractive. She was cute and pretty and sorta adorable. But you just wanted to pinch her cheeks. Here, look …
Anyhow, that was a long time ago. Jerry Maguire came out in 1996, when Zellweger was 27 and largely unknown. She proceeded to land some sweet acting gigs—Bridget Jones, Cold Mountain, Cinderella Man—and has had a career that, by any measures, would be considered a success.
And yet … Hollywood is a beast to actresses as they age. The parts dry up. The calls stop coming. Whereas once you were Tom Cruise’s love interest or Russell Crowe’s wife, now you’re the aunt with seven lines. You’re a narrator. You’re fighting to land a guest role on Black-ish. It isn’t fair, it isn’t fair, it isn’t fair, and as men like Clint Eastwood and Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves can continue to thrive into their 50s and 60s and 70s, woman such as Zellweger turn obsolete. Just wait. It’ll happen to Jennifer Garner, just as it happened to Renee.
But here’s the worst part: Hollywood fucks with minds. Zellweger was, truly, beautiful. She really was. However, it hurts to see what she’s become. The image that follows was taken a few days ago, at an event in Los Angeles …
Yes, that’s Renee Zellweger. Without the cheeks. Without the quality facial chunkiness (I don’t mean “chunkiness” as fat; I mean it as normal facial shaping). She just looks like every other 40-something Botoxed and plastic-ed fake blonde Hollywood statue, emotionless, indistinguishable, utterly lacking uniqueness.
But I get it. She wants to act. It’s her career. The pressure screams, “Look younger! Look younger!” The surgeons scream, “You’ll look younger! You’ll look younger!” Renee screams, “I’ll look younger! I’ll look younger!”