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tennisIlove09
Nov 10th, 2004, 12:46 AM
Renee Zellweger Plans a Break from Acting

1 hour, 14 minutes ago
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One would not know it from the way she is all over the media promoting her latest "Bridget Jones" film, but Oscar-winning Renee Zellweger is taking an extended break from acting.

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After "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" begins playing in theaters on Friday, Zellweger, 35, said she plans to step away from the limelight, stop acting for a while and learn what it is like to be "just a girl."



"I don't see myself climbing into a makeup chair any time soon and taking another role. I feel like I need to take a minute and have a little bit of life experience," Zellweger told Reuters in a recent interview.



She declined to say how her break from filming would last and she has already made a film that will open in 2005, Ron Howard's "The Cinderella man," in which plays the wife of Depression-era boxer Jim Braddock.



The first "Bridget Jones' Diary" in 2001 made Zellweger a top box office star as audiences fell in love with her portrayal of the plump, single British woman who drinks, smokes, curses and bungles her way through her love life. It racked up $254 million at worldwide box offices.



She followed "Bridget Jones" with her Oscar-nominated role as murderess Roxie Hart in musical "Chicago" and capped three years of success with the U.S. film industry's top film honor in February for best supporting actress as the hard-scrabble farm girl Ruby Thewes in U.S. Civil War drama "Cold Mountain."



But Zellweger, with a sigh, said her golden Oscar statuette was still sitting on her bedside table where she left eight months ago it because the day after she left Los Angeles for a new job.



"I put it there so when I woke up in the morning I could see that I really did bring it home," she said. "I haven't really been back until now."



SAME SEX, DIFFERENT STORY



Zellweger, who gained 30 pounds to play Bridget Jones a second time, returns to familiar territory in "Edge of Reason." As the movie opens, Bridget has had six weeks of a relationship with her "total sex god and human rights lawyer" Mark Darcy (Colin Firth (news (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/celeb/*http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news?fr=news-storylinks&p=%22Colin%20Firth%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw))).



But her old fans know the good loving can't last long when into her life returns old flame Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant (news (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/DailyNews/celeb/*http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news?fr=news-storylinks&p=%22Hugh%20Grant%22&c=&n=20&yn=c&c=news&cs=nw))) with his eye back on Bridget.



The first "Bridget Jones" dealt with finding love, but "Edge of Reason" is about keeping love burning, and Zellweger said it was important for the filmmakers to avoid a sequel that covered the same old ground as the original.



"I felt like I didn't want to disappoint the fans just throwing something out there because we could, and the same went for me. I didn't want to disappoint myself," she said.



The Texas-born American faced sharp scrutiny playing Bridget in the first film but won over the hearts of the British with her spot-on portrayal.



"It's easy to relate to her," Zellweger said, "Her imperfections, her vulnerability, and the fact the audience is privy to her inner dialogue and fear about her shortcomings."

Now, the star said, it's now time for her to find out more about her own imperfections and vulnerabilities, and start her own inner dialogue.