7 Ways Renée Zellweger Can Reclaim Her A-List Hollywood Standing
It was another lousy weekend to be Renée Zellweger at the box office. Her gloriously trashy psychological thriller Case 39 plunged off Paramount's shelf to a demoralizing if predictable seventh-place opening -- the Oscar-winner's fourth consecutive wide-release disappointment in two and half years. Theories abound as to what went wrong when, but there's no reason to look back when the 41-year-old actress has a wide-open future in front of her. Or does she? It couldn't hurt follow Movieline's fail-safe career advice:
1. Act, like, more often.
From Down With Love to Leatherheads to New in Town to Case 39, it's relatively easy to knock Zellweger's choices over the last six or seven years. The problem for her is that there's nothing else to deflect them. When she makes a pile of crap that stinks up the multiplex, the smell lingers long after the theater has recycled the standees and sent back the print. I mean, if Julia Roberts can make two movies in 2010, then Renée Zellweger can make at least three. (Come to think of it, why wasn't Zellweger the one flirting with real-life boyfriend Bradley Cooper in Valentine's Day?) Don't think of it as overexposure; think of it as increased exposure to potential success.
2. Stick with DreamWorks Animation.
Voice work is the easiest, best-paying gig in Hollywood -- and Zellweger is as close to a house talent as DWA has, having done three films (Shark Tale, Bee Movie and a smaller role in Monsters vs. Aliens) for Jeff Katzenberg & Co. since 2004. Total worldwide gross: Around $1.3 billion. So there's job security and mass-market presence, all without having to stick her surgically altered face on the line every time out. Which reminds me:
3. Quit with the plastic surgery.
I know some of you think I'm out for the cosmetic-surgery cheap shots all the time, but as an anonymous marketing exec told Anne Thompson over the weekend, "She's messed up her face and doesn't eat." I'm sorry, but it's just true. Let's accept it and resolve to move forward -- starting with the source. Yes, this means Botox, too.
4. Start a brilliant Twitter feed.
For better or worse, Twitter is an equalizer. If only Zellweger could corner the market on some ironic, perfectly pitched, moderately self-effacing Twitter persona, it could go a long way toward endearing herself as a personality as opposed to digging in as a fading star. Best of all: It's free. She could start today.
5. Do a Funny or Die video
She'd really have to take the piss for something like this (or, more importantly, have something of value to promote), but why couldn't Zellweger be the one hawking her "sex tape" or between two ferns with Zach Galifianakis? We know she can be funny, and we know she's versatile. This is a partnership worth making.
6. Do TV, preferably a guest role.
Zellweger is not ready to replace Steve Carell on The Office or anything, but you can bet she's ready to drop in as one of the front-running candidates to succeed Michael Scott at Dunder-Mifflin. Or maybe as an overearnest administrator on Community. Or maybe as a cutthroat football/cheerleader mom on Glee. Be creative! How is it that Zellweger's last TV part was in 2001, contributing the voice of a Texas ho bought from her pimp (voiced by Snoop Dogg!) on King of the HIll? The mind reels.
7. Buy the rights to My Own Love Song (and bury it forever).
Oh, I think you know why...