Renée Zellweger is back — and ready to discuss her complicated history with Harvey Weinstein, who produced the three films she was Oscar-nominated for (winning Best Supporting Actress for 2003’s Cold Mountain).
The actress, 50, told New York Magazine she was “very surprised by some of the things that were unearthed” about Weinstein, adding, “I didn’t know.”
Discussing her interactions with Weinstein, she said, “… in some ways, I feel: ‘Oh gosh, I allowed for the tiny cuts that just seemed like, ‘Oh, this is just how it’s always been.’ But I was never a victim of it. I always felt that I knew what to do in those circumstances. I didn’t feel… accostable. I never felt that I was being insulted, demeaned. I didn’t recognize it as that. It was jocular — it’s a joke.”
Despite the success of their working relationship over films including Bridget Jones’s Diary and Chicago, Zellweger said she wasn’t fully aware of who the disgraced producer was.
“I wasn’t around it. I don’t hang out like that,” she said of the Hollywood culture at the time. “I don’t go to the party. It’s part of my work: There’s a premiere, there’s an event, there’s a red carpet, there’s a hotel-lobby dinner. That’s my relationship to Hollywood. I don’t live in that. That’s my job. I visit it.”
As for allegations against Weinstein, Zellweger said it was “a very hard thing to hear about.”
“And it was hard to accept the surprise of that,” she said. “And I’m sorry that it’s hard to talk about because this is a person that I did not know well, but I thought I knew him as I knew him.”
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In March, multiple reports revealed that Weinstein had reached a tentative $44 million agreement that would see him compensate women who have sued him for alleged sexual misconduct and board members of his former movie company while settling a pending civil-rights lawsuit by the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
Zellweger’s next film, Judy, opens Sept. 27.