Renée Zellweger made a serious splash when she hit the 2014 Elle Women in Hollywood Awards on Monday night, but it wasn’t her ensemble that was getting all of the attention. The star looked wide-eyed and fresh faced as she made her triumphant return to the red carpet after a five year hiatus–but we (and the rest of the Internet) couldn’t help noticing that she didn’t quite look like herself.
So what’s changed? We asked Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Dayan to give it his best analysis.
While Zellweger’s eyes have been one of most recognizable features, the star’s peepers truly popped, showing off more of her brilliant blue eyes than we’ve previously seen. Dr. Dayan surmised she had likely opted for a buffer plasty, which removes excess skin around the eyes. “It’s rare to see someone change so much,” he said. “She’s also going the opposite of what most people like; nowadays most people like the look of a heavier eyelid. The look of big, wide eyes was more popular in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and into the ‘70s.”
Zellweger’s slimmed down since her Bridget Jones days, but her skin looked extra sculpted Monday night even compared to just a month ago when the actress attended the 8th Annual Fashion Award honoring Carolina Herrera. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she had some resurfacing procedures to tighten her skin,” noted Dr. Dayan. “She could have had lasers, like Fraxel. She may have had Thermage; it’s hard to say for sure. Most people today are doing small procedures, like Botox and fillers, and it’s almost become like getting your nails or your hair done.”
The doctor said that Zellweger, like many others, could have had Botox injections for years, making the muscles between her brows less prominent. But he noted that the actress could also have had a forehead lift to tighten up. “The muscles in between her eyebrows are much less prominent as she’s gotten older, which is usually a sign that something has either been reduced or stripped or removed.”
While Zellweger’s eyes are the most noticeable changes, Dayan thinks that there may be a bit of lip work as well. “There are some pictures I looked at where she has this asymmetry when she smiles, so she may have an implant in there,” he explained.
Though plastic surgery has advanced to where patients are out for merely days or a couple of weeks, the possible procedures could have been spread throughout her hiatus. “She could’ve gotten this all done in one shot – the eyes, the forehead, the lips,” he said. “But even if she did all of this major surgery in one shot, she was probably doing a lot of things along the way. I’m sure one of my friends has taken care of her.”
Even if she looks different now, Zellweger has pushed herself back into the limelight like she did at the beginning of her career: with one major red carpet appearance.