Renee Zellweger explains her 6-year hiatus

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Renee Zellweger is returning to the big screen to reprise her beloved role as Bridget Jones, but says she needed to take a break from Hollywood before starring in the sequel.

"I found anonymity, so I could have exchanges with people on a human level and be seen and heard, not be defined by this image that precedes me when I walk into a room," the Oscar winner tells Vogue UK magazine. "You cannot be a good storyteller if you don't have life experiences, and you can't relate to people."

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Zellweger admits that it was hard to turn down those "wonderful once-in-a-lifetime" roles. "I was fatigued and wasn't taking the time I needed to recover between projects, and it caught up with me," she explains of six-year hiatus. "I got sick of the sound of my own voice: it was time to go away and grow up a bit."

"Bridget Jones' Baby" hits theaters Sept. 16, and once again, the 47-year-old actress gained weight to portray the character. "I put on a few pounds. I also put on some breasts and a baby bump," she says. "Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I've never understood why it matters so much."

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Further defending body transformation, she adds, "No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role."