That Time Renée Zellweger Became The “Bean Queen”

By
Photography Ellen Von Unwerth

Published January 14, 2020

Renée Zellweger on the cover of the June 2003 issue of Interview, photographed by Ellen Von Unwerth.

Renée Zellweger, the world’s most decorated Judy Garland impersonator, has a lot to stay awake for. In honor of her fourth Oscar nomination (and, likely, her second win) for her depiction of the tortured actress and camp icon in Judy, we revisit our June 2003 issue, where musician Pete Yorn spoke with Zellweger about the complicated nature of fame, her dog (named Dylan, as in Bob), and what it was like to film Cold Mountain in Romania. Zellweger hit a career stride between 2001 and 2003, starring in some of her most memorable roles as Roxy Hart in Chicago and the titular romantic in Bridget Jones’s Diary, which landed her two Golden Globes and two consecutive Oscar nominations. It seems Zellweger’s success gave her little time to do much else; when Yorn asked about her sleeping habits, she admitted they could be better:

PETE YORN: Do you sleep well?

RENÉE ZELLWEGER: Sometimes.

YORN: More often than not?

ZELLWEGER: No, I’d say the other way around. I don’t sleep well because I’m busy. And I travel so much that my body clock gets askew. I don’t fight it anymore—I sleep when I can. And when I was in Romania [filming Cold Mountain] I was watching the news—the German news, Romanian news, and the BBC—and it would keep me up… Or I would lie in bed reading Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men, which got my blood pressure soaring—not a good idea. That’s a breakfast read. [Laughs]

But it wasn’t just Central European news and Michael Moore keeping her awake. A busy Zellweger told the Independent that she brought her own coffee beans to Romania, and once word got out about her barista-ing, she started making lattes for her driver and her assistant. “I was, and remain, the Bean Queen,” she said. Seven years after Cold Mountain, between 2010 and 2016, Zellweger went on hiatus, telling the Herald Sun, “I wanted to consider my own humanity for a little while and go to the coffee shop and be a lady ordering a coffee.” (Her favorite drink is reportedly a pumpkin spice latte). Say what you will about the infamous autumnal drink, but if there’s anyone in Hollywood who knows a thing or two about good coffee, it would be Renée.