Jennifer Grey Award for Facial Alteration:

Renee Zellweger

In the fall of 2014, there was much buzz about a celeb that had not been in the spotlight for a while—and, despite the common aphorism, not all press is necessarily good press.  Current images of Oscar winner Renee Zellweger did not seem to match her previous appearance.  Her characteristically squinty eyes appeared more oval.  Her chipmunk cheeks were flattened, her face appeared more angular and less round.  The overall effect: Less “You had me at hello” and more “Who’s that?”


This is not the first time an actress’ face was so dramatically transformed.  As “Baby” in “Dirty Dancing” (1987), Jennifer Grey’s large nose dramatized an adorable awkwardness.  She had a girl next door quality that let the audience root for her character.  In the early 1990’s, she had initial surgery on her nose.  Complications arose and a second procedure was performed.  The result:  Her distinctive schnozz was replaced with a generic honker.  

Movie roles dried up.  Grey's character in a short-lived “Friends”-like TV sitcom called “It’s Like, You Know“ was teased for having a nose job.  Many now blame her floundering career on her altered proboscis. In Grey’s own words: "I went in the operating room a celebrity—and came out anonymous.”


In Renee’s case, the facial changes generated significant internet discussion. What is odd is Zellweger’s response to the public outcry about her altered appearance.  Denying any cosmetic treatments, she said this instead: "I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows."

WTF, that is, What The Freckle?  How many sit-ups and bean sprouts does it take to look like another person?  She is not our patient, but we can speculate that she had a surgical eye-lift and some other procedure to produce a more angular face. She may have had a conservative nose job. Some are undergoing Botox treatments to the jaw muscle for facial narrowing. Denying cosmetic work does not seem to help Zellweger’s cause.

Will the Zellweger’s career trajectory mimic Grey’s?  We look forward to appreciating Zellweger’s further work (that’s acting work not necessarily cosmetic work).

Runner up:  Jennifer Grey Award for Facial Alteration:

Steve Carell in “Foxcatcher”

Actually, this would be the reverse Jennifer Grey award, using a prosthetic larger nose for Awards contention. 

Don’t laugh.  It worked for Nicole Kidman in “The Hours.”

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