Renee Zellweger explains why she disappeared from Hollywood for 6 years

Renee Zellweger Bridget Jones's BabyUniversal PicturesRenee Zellweger in ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby.’

For 18 years, Renee Zellweger worked as an actress in Hollywood every year, often with multiple high-profile projects in one year — especially after making a name for herself in 1996’s “Jerry Maguire.”

Then in 2010, the machine powered down. Zellweger’s IMDb credits were left without the need to be updated — until this year.

After a six-year hiatus, Zellweger is making her return to Hollywood in the third instalment of her beloved “Bridget Jones” franchise that hits theatres September 16. Another film, “Same Kind of Different As Me,” is due out in February 2017.

“I wanted to grow,” Zellweger explained to The Hollywood Reporter of taking a break. “If you don’t explore other things, you wake up 20 years later and you’re still that same person who only learns anything when she goes out to research a character. You need to grow!”

During that time, Zellweger told THR that she lived “under the radar” and steered clear of gossip written about her. Instead, she spent time in Connecticut, the Hamptons, and then in Santa Barbara, and enrolled in a screenwriting course at UCLA. THR reports that she even wrote a TV pilot with one of her professors that she pitched to Lifetime — though the network decided to pass.

“Writing is something that has always been part of my life,” she told THR. “I’m tapping into it because it makes me happy. There are so many women now who are answering their creative calling — writing, producing, directing. I have a lot of girlfriends who would like to produce material that matters in some way.”

Read the full interview on The Hollywood Reporter.

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