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Renee Zellweger Recalls Being Pressured To Drink Before Filming A Nude Scene

Renee Zellweger in Chicago
(Image credit: Miramax Films)

It’s easy to focus on the glitz and glamor of the rich and famous, but there are also aspects of Hollywood that are less-than-desirable. At this point, many notable actresses and actors (like Brendon Fraser) have shared stories of inappropriate acts they've experienced during their careers. Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger has now recalled being pressured by a producer to drink wine before filming a nude scene.

Renee Zellweger is a proven powerhouse of an actress, and she's been in some pretty iconic films going back to her breakthrough performance in Tom Cruise’s Jerry Maguire. Yet the early years of an actresses’ career can sadly include uncomfortable prompts and, in her feature interview for Harper’s Bazaar, Zellweger got candid about being asked to consume alcohol ahead of an intimate scene. Here it is in her own words:

There have been times I have been in, you know, on set, where a producer’s ready for me to go ahead and take my clothes off. ‘Here, drink this wine, ‘cause then you’ll do it,’ And, you know, I’m not gonna take that wine, but I would like a phone. ’Cause I have a phone call I need to make right now.

Although I’m far from a seasoned actor, I can only imagine how uncomfortable nude scenes are to film in general. (Jamie Lee Curtis can attest to how embarrassing they can be). I would understand someone handing a man or woman a drink in order to get their nerves under control if they ask for one, but to offer a drink in order to insure an actress will go through with doing a scene and not change her mind is honestly gross.

Renee Zellweger doesn’t reveal how old she was or when in her career the unwanted offer of wine occurred, but it does seem that it happened pretty early on in her career. But even if it wasn’t, Zellweger’s decision to make a phone call was pretty ballsy. You have to appreciate the fact that she's willing to do what she can to keep herself out of uncomfortable situations.

Many around Hollywood today agree that such on-set interactions are not to be tolerated, and the MeToo Movement and other entities are making efforts to improve things. While there's definitely still plenty of work to be done, things are changing for the better. Some productions like Outlander have enlisted intimacy coordinators to ensure that people are comfortable during certain scenes.

Some actors and actresses are perfectly comfortable going nude for a film (one Dune star asked for plenty of them and for a good reason). Of course, consent is super important in cases like this, though, and the offer of wine appears to have been used to take that away to some degree in this case. The situation aside, though, Renee Zellweger is thriving and back in the acting game -- and still not putting up with any nonsense. You can see Zellweger in her new NBC series, The Thing About Pam, which you can stream with a Peacock Premium subscription.

Carlie Hoke
Carlie Hoke

Constantly thinking about books, coffee, and the existential dread I feel from Bo Burnham’s Inside.  While writing I’m also raising a chaotic toddler, who may or may not have picked up personality traits from watching one too many episodes of Trailer Park Boys.