October 22, 2014 3:15 pm
Updated: October 22, 2014 3:18 pm

Renée Zellweger ‘thrilled’ with dramatic new look

Renee Zellweger, pictured on Oct. 20, 2014 (left) and on Oct. 25, 2012 (right).

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This post has been updated.

TORONTO — Actress Renée Zellweger said Wednesday her dramatic new look is the result of “living a different, happy, more fulfilling life.”

In a statement to People, she said: “I’m thrilled that perhaps it shows.”

Zellweger insisted she is healthy and said speculation about why she looks so different is “silly.”

She added: “Perhaps I look different. Who doesn’t as they get older?! Ha. But I am different. I’m happy.”

Zellweger stunned guests at the ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards this week with her new look.

The 45-year-old Bridget Jones star was almost unrecognizable when she showed up on the red carpet and later stepped up to the podium at the gala.

Zellweger has never admitted to having had cosmetic surgery.

Renee Zellweger, pictured on Oct. 20, 2014.

Getty Images

In an interview with The Express last year, she addressed speculation about her changes in appearance.

“When you read reports that you are starving yourself or that you are anorexic it’s very unfair and disappointing,” she said. “It’s not very pleasant to read reports which say you’ve gone too far or this or that.”

BELOW: See more photos of Renée Zellweger at Monday’s event

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Although Zellweger appeared at an event in early September, she hadn’t been photographed in public much since March.

She hasn’t appeared on screen since 2010’s straight-to-video film My Own Love Song. Her last theatrical release was the 2009 comedy New in Town, which was partly shot in Winnipeg and flopped at the box office.

Zellweger has a role in the upcoming thriller The Whole Truth with Keanu Reeves and recently signed on for the drama Same Kind of Different As Me.

The star’s new look prompted British newspaper Daily Mail to seek the opinion of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Alex Karidis, who opined the actress may have had an upper eye lift and possibly Botox injections.

In May, Nicole Kidman shocked fans when she showed up at the Cannes film festival with what one newspaper described as “puffy cheeks — which appeared unusually bloated and pronounced — and wrinkle-free forehead.”

BELOW: Take a look at Renee Zellweger over the years

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