Renee Zellweger Opens Up About Depression And Taking A Break From Acting

"There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”

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Vivien KillileaGetty Images

Renee Zellweger is gearing up for her comeback, starring as Judy Garland in the upcoming biopic Judy. She's also finally getting transparent about her Hollywood hiatus. The Oscar-winning actress opened up about her depression and what led her to take a much-need break in an interview in New York Magazine.

Renee says she realized she suffered from depression after seeing a therapist. “He recognized that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life," she told the publication. "I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance. I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in.”

She added an analogy from Salma Hayek to explain her experience. "The rose doesn’t bloom all year … unless it’s plastic." Renee also realized her health was suffering. "I wasn’t healthy,” Zellweger said. “I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities.”

Reflecting on the frenetic pace of film-making in her earlier career, and what today's young actresses still deal with, she says: “But then you’re really unhealthy and unbalanced and, you know, about to die. And then you look back on it and wonder what happened.”

Renee continued, “I had lots of different places to live but no home. No home where I actually unpacked pictures and put them on the shelf … I had two suitcases."

When she did take time for herself, “I had a good five-year period when I was joyful and in a new chapter that no one was even aware of.” After the break, Renee says, "It’s a quieter life, and I love it.”

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