ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at Creators.co
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

You probably wouldn't think that images from the Elle Magazine 21 Annual Women in Hollywood event that took place yesterday could be all that shocking - and, to be honest, neither did we.

Then, though, we caught a glimpse of Renée Zellweger, and it couldn't be much more shocking if it tried - because she looks totally different.

The Academy Award-nominated actress is virtually unrecognizable - and it got us thinking...

About the new images (which you can see below), sure. But also about way back in 1996, when Jerry Maguire became pretty much everyone's favorite movie...

Now, sure, we all loved Tom Cruise being all adorable and a changed man and all, and yeah, Cuba Gooding Jr. was awesome, but there was more to it than that.

Specifically, there was this, as Dorothy Boyd, the film's main female character, pulled off this classic line:

One of the most iconic moments in modern cinema, which also just happened to thrust a certain Renée Zellweger into the hearts of millions.

Now, sure, some of us might have fallen for her the year before, in...

Empire Records

In which she danced her way into many a young heart alongside Liv Tyler, despite whatever it was that Rex Manning was up to...

And, if we didn't, then 2000's...

Nurse Betty

...and all the awards that came with it definitely made sure we were aware of just how awesome Ms. Zellweger was.

And, if it didn't, then the same year's gross-tastic...

Me, Myself and Irene

...almost certainly did.

In 2001, though, there was absolutely no getting away from her, as she became an icon in...

Bridget Jones' Diary

...and both brought a classic fictional character to life, and proved that what dress size you are has absolutely no impact on how awesome, adorable and capable-of-winning-the-love-of-Colin-Firth you are.

Then, between...

Chicago

Cold Mountain

and

Miss Potter

...she became one of Hollywood's most successful, and critically acclaimed actresses.

But, then, in 2010, she pretty much dropped off the face of moviedom...

Until, that is, her recent appearance at the Elle Magazine 21 Annual Women in Hollywood event this past Monday.

At which...she didn't look a single thing like Renée Zellweger.

The New Renée

Now, we here at Moviepilot aren't in the business of judging people on their looks - especially since this writer looks an awful lot like an extra from a Star Wars cantina scene when he wakes up in the morning - but, honestly, we genuinely struggled to grasp that this was the same woman who played Bridget Jones just over ten years ago...

And, y'know what? That's totally her choice - and it's not as though she's ever been anything less than striking, if that matters - but it still seems kind of strange that a beautiful, talented 45-year old woman felt she had to change her appearance this much.

And, y'know what? From a movie-lovers perspective, we just kind miss our Dorothy Boyd, our Roxie Hart, and our Bridget Jones.

Especially as there's still [Bridget Jones's Baby](movie:293051) to be made...

Poll

What do you guys think? Can you recognize the old school Renée Zellweger in these new pictures?

via TheMirror.co.uk

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