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On Los Angeles "It opens your eyes in this town, it's amazing. It's taught me who I don't want to be."


Regarding the lifestyle of the people of Romania, she says, "I learned how little in the way of material goods we really need, and how beautiful a simple life can be. In Romania people work with their hands every day, and you'll see an 80-year-old woman still chopping wood because she's been looking after herself all her life, and she still has the strength to do it."


"It saddens me every day when people come up and say, 'OK, how did you lose that weight?' I can't speak about it because I am not an authority on weight loss. I am just not. I am not challenged with a medical situation that's weight-related and that I need to pay attention to". (On the weight she lost after Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)).


It was very exciting for me to fill out Bridget's dresses. It felt really great. I didn't feel any different. I didn't feel uncomfortable, and I didn't feel as if it changed my life. I got such positive responses from the fellows in my life while I looked like Bridget Jones. I had a lot of friends who said I should think about keeping some of the weight on. I have to say I agreed, because there were certain things about it I liked very much. But, of course, I'm a girl, and I thought, 'Ugh, no.' Like anybody, I want to look my best.


"I see the Oscar (for best supporting actress in Cold Mountain (2003)) in my bedroom, and it's like I bought it in a souvenir shop on Hollywood Boulevard".


My life has far exceeded what I might ever have dreamed of because I would never have been so bold as to dream that these things might happen to me.


"I wanted to be self-sufficient, I wanted to take care of myself, and I wanted to learn. I wanted to travel, I wanted to see the world and have my eyes opened. I wanted to be consistently challenged, and I knew I needed to be creative in some way. When I got my job in a bar and I could pay for my tuition and go on auditions and sometimes get jobs that I loved and pay my rent, I knew that I would be all right. That's when my dreams came true, long before the telephone rang and someone said, 'Come and meet Tom Cruise'".


"It's great to be a brunet. I can sneak around downtown Los Angeles and nobody knows it's me. I went to Starbucks to get my coffee in the morning, and they said, 'What's your name?' I said, 'Oh, Renée.' Nobody even looked at me twice. My friends even walk past me. It's fantastic because I feel so free again. That's why I think the old adage that blonds have more fun is a presumption!" (on dying her hair brown)


I think we can all relate to Bridget standing in a hallway wanting to know, 'Do you love me or not?' She just blurts it out and maybe that makes her seem like she's not strong. I think she's very brave because she's speaking her mind. Ultimately, she knows that even if she doesn't get the right answer from this man, she will still get up and move forward. That's strength to me.


What I admire most about Bridget is her ever-present optimism in the face of adversity. I love how she has romantic troubles, but she gets back up and even laughs at herself. Me? I do my best. I keep on trying, anyway.


Emotionally gaining the weight didn't affect me. In fact, I was afraid that I didn't gain enough weight. We were working six days a week, so my fear was that I'd lose a few pounds from the work, and the fluctuations in my weight would show on the screen. But they weren't noticeable. (On her weight gain in _Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004)_).


People did suggest to me, 'Oh, it might not be necessary to gain that much weight or as much as you did last time.' I thought the weight was essential in repeating the journey. If you're not going to be who she is, then what is the point?


I am very proud to be Norwegian. (1996 interview)


(On her friendship with George Clooney, her co-star in 'Leatherheads') We have a lovely relationship. I write him six-page emails about my political rage, and he writes back.


(On landing Jerry Maguire) I remember driving to the audition, and I remember being very calm because I was thinking, 'This is never going to happen.'


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