There’s a scene in Notting Hill where Anna Scott (of course, the heavenly Julia Roberts) overhears a distasteful conversation from a nearby table of shouty, immature men, detailing what they think it would be like to sleep with her.
Finishing her meal she’s faced with a choice: exit the restaurant and leave them none the wiser to who has been privy to their “laddy banter” or make herself known, exposing them and us to one of the cringiest moments imaginable.
She does the latter, and to watch it’s comedy gold. But can you imagine if that actually happened to you? Well it did, to one couple on the tube in London, who while critisicing Renée Zellweger’s face realised they were sat next to her. That’s karma for you.
Zellweger spoke about the moment during an interview with American radio station SiriusXM earlier this week, while discussing the hurtful reactions and media attention she received in 2014 after she was accused of having plastic surgery.
The actor recalls being sat on the tube, minding her own business, and hearing a man and woman “about my age” calling her “stupid” and dissecting her appearance.
“They were talking about how Hollywood ladies are so silly,” Zellweger explains, before recounting the conversation.
“[They said] ‘especially that Renée Zellweger. How could she do that? Why would she go and have surgery on her face, like we wouldn’t know? How could she do that? She doesn’t look like herself. You can’t just do that, where you go and you just don’t look like yourself. Because we expect you to look like yourself.’”
Although this must have been pretty horrible to hear, Zellweger showed an impressive amount of class and resiliance, choosing to simply stand up silently and wait for her upcoming stop. That is, until the people in question spotted her and suffered what must have been a terrible moment of realisation.
She continues, “I thought, wow, that’s interesting. Anyway, here’s my stop. So I get up and stand next to the door, waiting for it to open, and the man is still talking about how stupid I am. And he looked up, and he said, ‘You’re, oh god, you’re not, you are, you’re, oh my god, but you look just like yourself!’”
Zellweger’s reaction? Calm and collected. In fact, she doesn’t even mention addressing his rambling, especially not the patronising affirmation of her face (we’re sure she knows that she looks like herself, and doesn’t need to be told thank you very much).
The Judy star says: “I thought, yeah, it’s funny how that works, isn’t it. And he said, ‘Wow, uh, you know, Hugh Grant!’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I do know Hugh Grant. He’s a great guy. I’ll tell him you said hello.’”
This has to go down in history as the coolest, most graceful, way of dealing with mindless gossip, ever. Zellweger, we salute you.