“The past few years have been fun,” Zellweger tells the U.K.’s Vogue magazine in its July issue. The actress, who returns to the big screen with her fan-loved character in September’s Bridget Jones’s Baby, says she happily fell off the grid: “I travelled in Asia with a friend, taking a train through Vietnam and walking across the border to Cambodia.”
But it wasn’t all five-star hotels and luxury pampering – the Oscar-winning actress flew to Liberia in 2011 to support the The Great Initiative a small gender equality charity based in London with British journalist and presenter Mariella Frostrup.
Spending five days in the war-torn African nation was an opportunity Zellweger jumped at, according to Frostrup. After becoming friends on the set of the first Bridget Jones film, Frostrup sent her pal a text with little or no expectation, yet three weeks later, “Renee was standing in the lobby of a London hotel with a small backpack as luggage in a pair of jeans and a North Face jacket. No entourage.”
The 47-year-old actress also spent time nesting at home in LA, spending time with her family and her musician boyfriend of four years, Doyle Bramhall II. Having known him “since I was young and living in Austin” where the actress went to university, she credits their solid relationship to their shared past. “There is a familiarity between us, that sense you have when you’re with someone and you know you are home.”
Most recently, home has been London, where the actress has been spotted travelling under the radar on the London Underground in between filming Bridget Jones’s Baby, the third installment in the popular franchise and in which the hapless heroine Jones becomes a mother. “Bridget has grown up a bit,” reveals the actress, giving just a hint of what to expect: “but she’s still Bridget. She still finds herself in situations that she has to deal with the consequences of.”
Bridget Jones’s Baby hits theaters on Sept. 16.