We often hear about the jobs, hobbies, and lives celebrities led before they became famous, but it’s rare to hear about the secret passions and interests stars dive into at the top of their fame. Sydney Sweeney has been making headlines recently for her interest in restoring old cars and mixed martial arts, but she’s hardly the only actor who has interests outside their craft. In fact, Renée Zellweger was so dedicated to her other passions, she took a break from acting for six years in order to pursue them. You may remember Zellweger being MIA between 2010 and 2016, but until now, we didn’t really know what she was up to during that time off. After returning to the spotlight, Zellweger said she took some screenwriting classes at the University of California, Los Angeles, but it turns out, she was a full blown student at the college, and she pursued a topic with much less relevant to her acting career.
“I snuck into UCLA for a little while to study public policy,” Zellweger told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie while promoting her new show, The Thing About Pam, on Today. She explained she studied mostly international politics during her time at the school, calling the topic “one of my favorite things.”
Zellweger, who has been acting since she was in her early 20s, explained she felt she had to take a break from acting at the time. “I needed to step away and grow as a person and learn some things that were not related to work,” she explained. So, she went to UCLA, where she found a passion in politics, though she admitted she’s “not sure” if she would ever pursue it as a career, so don’t expect a senate run anytime soon. Right now, she’s saving her knowledge for her friends and acquaintances. “I’ll bore you to death at a dinner party,” she told Kotb and Guthrie. “I really will.”