As if “stealing” Bradley Cooper from Jennifer Aniston wasn’t bad enough, Renee Zellweger is making headlines again, but this time for something much more important: Her weight. That’s right, Bridget Jones Part Tres is cranking up and that means R. Zell needs to plump up in a hurry to don her trademark bunny costume, curves spilling out all over.
According to a quick lit search (my literature including National Journal of People Magazine, Archives of US Weekly and Perez Hilton Review, of course), Zellweger gained close to 30 pounds for each of the first two movies - 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary and the 2004 sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (she was nominated for an Oscar for the former flick.) The 40-year-old actress did it by loading up on biscuits and gravy, Snickers, milk shakes, pizza and buttery potatoes.
Here she is, thin.
And here she is, “heavy.”
A few things. First of all, this can’t be healthy, can it? I understand she’s not going all Christian Bale circa The Machinist but just because 28 pounds isn’t uber-extreme doesn’t mean it’s totally safe. I can only assume that, incredibly fun first day aside, the task of packing on double digits is trying. Eating when you’re not hungry isn’t all that pleasurable. "For two days it's bliss," she told the UK’s Daily Mail."Then after a week your glucose levels are going crazy. You're up and down and all over the place. It doesn't feel good, and no one wants to hear that, but it's the truth.”
And after each film, she has to (well, depending on who you ask) diet her way back to her normal weight, an arduous process during which she once said she felt like she had a toddler strapped to her back while exercising. Sounds fun. Renee told the Daily Mail that she has, in fact, been concerned about the weight’s impact on her health: "I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you long-term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time.…My body is whacked by the time we finish one of those [movies]…It doesn't know what has happened because it thinks there's supposed to be a baby and there's no christening."
Health issues aside, let’s discuss the fact that movie headhonchos have tapped a whippet-thin actress to star in their show, despite the fact that it calls for a plumper woman. They’d rather fatten up a skinny chick and then leave her to lose the weight afterwards then just hire a woman who’s already a size 12. Of course, their decision to go with a Renee-type star is merely symptomatic of our society’s refusal to accept women in the arts who are normally a size 14 or up – maybe as comediennes or opera singers, but that’s about it. Now, a woman who typically tips the scales at a buck-15 but can eat her way to 160 in a jiffy? THAT’S a keeper!
I’m not denying Renee her acting chops – she’s funny and has great timing and helped Jerry Maguire Show. Himself. The Moneyyyy! better than any other single mother could’ve done. But there are probably a bunch of hilarious actresses who would rock the Bridget Jones role, too, but not have to put their health in danger by piling on 30 pounds in a few weeks to do so.
For those of you interested in trying a Renee-type plan, check out eHow.com’s How to Fluctuate Weight Like Renee Zellweger.