LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Renee Zellweger knows how it feels to be “New In Town,” and as she stars in a movie by that name, the Texas-born actress is talking about her rootless existence traveling the globe for work and pleasure.
The romantic comedy, which opens in U.S. theaters on January 30, stars Zellweger opposite Harry Connick Jr. Zellweger, 39, plays an ambitious Miami business executive taking over a manufacturing plant in Minnesota amid fears of layoffs.
Zellweger, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for the 2003 film “Cold Mountain,” has described her life as a nomadic one, and in recent months she has busily gone from place to place while working on movies.
She has four films due out this year. She spoke to Reuters about “New In Town,” her famous line from “Jerry Maguire” and her journalism education in college.
Q: People loved you in “Bridget Jones’s Diary” and the sequel. In those movies Jones is chubby and has bad habits, but your character, Lucy, in “New In Town” is an overachiever. Are there similarities at all between the two characters?
A: “Both of them find themselves in awkward situations, but not very different with respect to their imperfections. ... The (new) comedy with Lucy is a little bit different because she’s so determined to have everything be as she perceives it should be that the comedy comes from her failing, and her inability to accept that she’s failed.”
Q: You travel all over the world to film movies and it seems just for fun. You go to Venice, Australia, London. Are you still homeless?
A: “I guess so, I mean I have a place to put my stuff but I don’t have much of a network surrounding it. So I guess the things that I would say define a home, I don’t have those things just yet. But I’m working on it. I can’t complain, it’s not a pauper’s life by any means, with respect to having things that matter around you.”
Q: What do you like best about the nomadic life?
A: “Well there’s a lot of things that I like about it, I’m never bored.”
Q: In the movie “Jerry Maguire” you had that classic line “You had me at hello,” which has since become a huge catchphrase. What’s it like to have that big of an impact on pop culture?
A: “I don’t know, I can’t look at it from that perspective. Isn’t that funny? I was at a movie theater, and they had quotes from films, famous movie quotes from films like ‘I’ll never be hungry again,’ or ‘Go ahead, make my day,’ and it was up there. I thought it was a pretty profound moment for me to see that. It’s hard to believe. It’s a little bit of an out-of-body experience when you see something like that, because I can’t own that.”
Q: Are you glad you studied journalism in college?
A: “Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But that felt really organic to me, that felt like what I ought to be doing. ... I thought certainly I would have a career that would have something to do with using my pen. I was quite, quite certain that I would. This is all just one big accident. I mean things went terribly wrong obviously with my journalism career. (laughs)”
Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Reaney