Re: Renee Zellweger

1

I assume you are male, as it doesn't seem to have occured to you that some people might enjoy change.

Based on my limited personal exp, some women enjoy new looks, the more radical the better


Posted by: ezra abra,s | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:19 AM
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I assume you're an ass!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:22 AM
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What was wrong with her old face?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:25 AM
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I assume she killed Hugh Grant and was trying to hide.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:26 AM
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she received such intense cruel mockery of her old face

Did she? Christ, what a world!


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:27 AM
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She looks less ethnic now, more generic "white". I guess looking Scandinavian is only desirable up to a certain point.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:27 AM
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Anyway, I would have never recognized her. But I'm bad at that sort of thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:27 AM
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6: Never go the full Bjork.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:28 AM
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Jennifer Grey had a nose job which she now regrets. She starred as herself in a short-lived TV show called, "It's like, Ya Know" where her character was unable to get work because of her nose job.

I liked that show a lot, one of the actors from Metropolitan and Barcelona was in it.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:30 AM
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I'm trying to find an article I read yesterday that linked to a whole shit-ton of the regular jabs for her appearance that she received.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:30 AM
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11

This was the article.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:33 AM
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Ha. I was about to post about this. Here's a link. The thing that makes it notable (for me, anyway) is that it's not at all like the Jennifer Gray thing (bad nosejob, same face) or Nicole Kidman (too much botox, same face) or Sandra Bullock (hmm, something look different here), but, first, like you say, that it looks like a completely different person, and second, and this is what gets me, it looks like reverse plastic surgery. She looks way more like a normal person than she used to.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:36 AM
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I'm not convinced that surgery is necessarily a huge part of it. She looks different in part because she looks older. We aren't necessarily attuned to how dramatically people's faces change with (normal) aging.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:37 AM
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RZ is flatly denying surgery. To the extent that I've paid any attention to this non-story it looks as if she's decided to come out as a tolerably attractive 45 year old and stop spending time and energy trying to look 15 years younger. Probably she sat down with her accountant and worked out that she could afford it. Good.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:37 AM
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"it looks like reverse plastic surgery"

So, like, she got older, and stopped trying to maintain the specific look she had in her early twenties.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:37 AM
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I'm relieved to report that all of this angst over plastic surgery is entirely unjustified. Turns out, she only looks different because of clean living.


Zellweger chalks her new look up to a healthier lifestyle.

"My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy," she said. "For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself."

The weirdness of the situation is enhanced by the pretense that is required.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:38 AM
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13: That's because I look exactly the same as I did at 25, except a bit fatter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:38 AM
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13,15: Tweety-sweety, are you high? We all watch people age constantly. We've seen a million aging celebrities, as well as everyone we've ever known in person.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:39 AM
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Huh. I've always thought she looked extremely pretty. I mean, she was an A-list actress with her old face, so I can't have been entirely alone on that.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:40 AM
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I recently showed a bunch of the people I work with a picture of me in 2001 or so; with one exception (and it took her quite a while) nobody recognized me. Obviously I've had all kinds of surgery, but this was my face we're talking about, not my giant, surgically attached lizard tail.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:40 AM
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So she was actually using some sort of artificial cheek-puffing agent since 1996?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:40 AM
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19 to the article in 11.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:40 AM
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18: yes, exactly right. I'm glad you see my point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:41 AM
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||

Sexual explicitness of Partenope much less than advertised.

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:41 AM
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She does look like a person who hasn't had surgery, as long as that person was Robin Wright Penn.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:41 AM
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26

This is so clearly not just aging--come on.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:42 AM
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... which, in case you don't see my point, is that we see people age continuously. Very rarely do we not see somebody for seven or eight years, and I'd wager reasonably often when that happens, it's hard to recognize them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:42 AM
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28

Somebody should remake The Princess Bride, but middle-agey.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:42 AM
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27: It happens to me all the time. It's relatively easy to recognize people in context. But otherwise, not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:43 AM
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26: I don't particularly think it is, but I also think "she's obviously had a ton of plastic surgery between 2009 and now" is wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:45 AM
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Dazed and Confused II is being filmed here, right now, and the field across the street is being used to house all the trailers and such. There's a whole fleet of old cars and racks of 70s clothing. It's great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:45 AM
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Somebody should remake The Princess Bride, but middle-agey.

"Hallo. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my idealism, prepare to die."


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:46 AM
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27: But we do have 7-8 year gaps in who we see, all the time. Every time I get friended by someone non-local on facebook. Every time a celebrity who hasn't made a movie in a while appears on Jon Stewart. Every time I see my second-cousins or great-uncles. Etc. It's a really common thing to have to update someone's appearance non-continuously.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:47 AM
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34

Everyone that I saw at Unfoggedy 2 and then not again until Unfoggedy 3.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:48 AM
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Or you! Who was at Unfoggedy 2 and then I saw five years later. We weren't shocked by each other's aging.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:49 AM
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36

I have no idea whether she's had a ton of work (she still looks like she's had work done, of course) or not, but it might be that she was doing things before that she's no longer doing--point being: she looks waaaay different than she did even a year ago. She had a trademark squint, and it's gone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:50 AM
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37

9: Chris Eigeman.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:52 AM
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38

Now she completes herself.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:52 AM
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28: With how Cary Elwes and Robin Wright look now, I'd be okay with that. Rest in peace Andre.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:54 AM
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40

She had a trademark squint, and it's gone.

LASIK surgery?


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:55 AM
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41

I mean OBEY in peace.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:55 AM
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42

Very rarely do we not see somebody for seven or eight years, and I'd wager reasonably often when that happens, it's hard to recognize them.

Quite often do I see someone I haven't seen for seven or eight years, and never (at least in the case of adults) have I found it remotely difficult to recognise them. I went to a college Gaudy a few years back and saw a whole lot of people I hadn't seen in a decade and none of them had changed enough (from, say, 22 to 32) for me not to recognise them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:58 AM
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43

I'd forgotten that Unfogged is mostly robots with beta facial recognition software. Keep the faith, Heebie, I gotta run.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:59 AM
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44

And then the vicious notes started.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:59 AM
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45

44 to 42.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:59 AM
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46

Frank Zappa was so right when he answered the age-old question, "What's the ugliest part of your body?"

Although I suppose some philosophers might disagree.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:00 AM
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I've revealed myself as uniquely unqualified to comment here, given that I can't recognize my own children if they take their nametags off. But I don't really understand the fuss at all. Middle-aged actress has plastic surgery isn't news. Middle-aged actress has plastic surgery that turns out hideous might be, but she doesn't look remarkably hideous, she looks perfectly normal and by that I mean a lot prettier than most women her (and my) age.

She looks unexpectedly different than she did a year ago? That might be proof that it really was surgery rather than clean living and happiness, but surgery isn't shocking at all in context. And I can't see "she looks unexpectedly different" as meaning a lot psychologically -- isn't even very expensive plastic surgery a bit of a crapshoot, given that rich people do end up with bad results reasonably often. It might have just turned out that way.

(Pointless speculation, given that I'm not good at this kind of thing. I wonder if her prior look was maintained with some kind of not-quite-surgery treatments that dissipate over time; collagen injections or something. And when she says she didn't have surgery, what she's not saying is that there was a big change, but it was quitting whatever she was doing that was no longer producing results she liked.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:02 AM
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48

Maybe she's been running for election in Ukraine?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:03 AM
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42: At my twentieth high school reunion, I found that people were split about fifty-fifty between having hardly changed at all and being completely unrecognizable. But 'completely unrecognizable' was hardly ever just aging, it was usually some combination of facial hair, balding, and major weight gain.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:04 AM
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Yeah, 47.2 would be what I'd wonder; she knocked off her cheek injections when she found Jesus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:05 AM
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51

Er 47.last.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:05 AM
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52

It's not surprising that a middle-aged celebrity would have some work done, but it is genuinely unusual to render yourself completely unrecognizable in one fell swoop (in bits and bobs over decades, sure, but not new eyes, new nose, new lips, new cheeks all in one go).


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:08 AM
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42: My Dad's sister went completely gray at a fairly youg age (maybe in her early 20's) and very quickly. He didn't recognize her for about 30 minutes, when he first saw her.

I haven't seen her in a long time. I found her daughter on facebook with a picture of the two of them together. Her husband looks essentially the same. It took me a minute to figure out who she was.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:11 AM
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A lot of the difference looks to me more like a combination of aging and losing weight, and plucking her eyebrows into a different shape. (In the before pictures they're thicker and lower as a result, which is part of why she looks squinty. Now they're higher and more rounded which makes her eyes look less compressed.) I know at least one woman whose face has shifted noticeably from rounded to angular as she's aged, so it doesn't seem strange to me that a lot of that change could just reflect that (when the weight loss is figured in).

That's not to say that she hasn't had work done, obviously, but the really dramatic changes look like they could easily be caused by other factors.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:16 AM
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55

I would probably go along with 50/51. Seems the most parsimonious explanation. The thing is, she now looks roughly her age; before, she looked like somebody trying, increasingly desperately, to look younger.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:16 AM
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Again, I'm really not the person to be having an opinion here. But is she really all that unrecognizable? The big difference to me looks like going from puffy-cheeked and squinty (that sounds awful and didn't look that bad, but you know what I mean) to much less of both. But look at this picture from 2012: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1564324864/nm0000250?ref_=nmmd_md_nxt

That catches her with her eyes wide open, and she doesn't look all that different to me than she does now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:18 AM
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Does she drink pumpkin spice lattes?

I think everyone criticizing her before or after should be ashamed of themselves. They should find something better to do with their time, like trying to get one whiny rich person to write a check to another.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:19 AM
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These pictures from a year and a half ago look a lot more like the recent pictures than the one linked in 36 (while still being reconizably her) and put this onto more of a continuum I think. Also agree with 54.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:24 AM
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59

56: That photo is dated 2012.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:25 AM
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60

Oh, I can't read.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:26 AM
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Also, all of the pictures I've seen of her with the old look, she's wearing heavy black eyeliner, which was helping to create the squinty look.

Not that I doubt she's had surgery, I assume anyone in Hollywood has. But not worth this kind of reaction to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:26 AM
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I'd forgotten that Unfogged is mostly robots with beta facial recognition software.

Ogged is completely right. You all are crazy. Click his link in 12 and truly appreciate that these are two different faces, not one aging face.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:31 AM
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62: Seriously asking, I know I'm bad at this. But which side of the line would you put the 2012 pictures on (comments 56 and 58)-- do they look like the 2003 pictures to you, or do they look like the 2014 pictures?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:38 AM
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63: I'm not great with faces either, but I can absolutely recognize Zellwegger in all of the old shots. If you'd showed me one cold, I could say "That's her." I can't recognize her in the new ones.

Are you saying that you could spot New Zellwegger and recognize her? Or that you couldn't reliably recognize Old Zellwegger from pictures?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:44 AM
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The later links have been interesting to me. I hadn't realized that there's been a series of "OMG! RZ is completely unrecognizable/has a new face!" stories for over a year now.
(To make shit up, because I know nothing about this, I will hazard that she had an aggressive brow lift that opened up her eyes and flattened her cheeks and then after that stopped using fillers. Sorta what Tweety is saying, I guess.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:45 AM
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Most of the photos people are comparing also are from a noticeably different angle and have her making a different face. (When someone is making a closed-mouth smile they're bound to look like they have higher/rounder cheekbones and smaller eyes than when they aren't.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:48 AM
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In the link in 56 [I meant 58], it does look like the 2013 picture is on a spectrum. But the recognizable "before" is from 2009, not 2003.

So I'll concede that this wasn't overnight - I just hadn't really updated my image of her since 2009 - but I still maintain that this is a response to cruel tabloids, deliberately trying to "fix" her distinctive features, and not some sort of standard Hollywood preservation of youth or how she chooses to age gracefully.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:49 AM
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64: We're getting into the intersection of my being bad at faces and bad at pop culture -- she's not reliably a person I'd recognize ever, although I'd probably get her as familiar looking in the really old pictures, and I agree that she's less unusual looking now. But are you calling the 2012 pictures old, and therefore recognizable, or new, and therefore unrecognizable? To me, they look pretty similar to the 2014 pictures, but also not like a completely different person from the 2003 pictures.

Mostly, I'm thinking that if she's been walking around looking like this for a couple of years now, maybe the press could drop it as old news.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:50 AM
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I'm with Sifu. She looks like some of the Hollywood magic wore off, that's all, not like she's been knifed. And definitely yes, some people can become unrecognizable if you don't see them aging gradually. My ex-brother-in-law is a prime example.


Posted by: biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:52 AM
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It doesn't help that a lot of the sites running stories about Dramatic Differences! are using photos of her from 2003/2004, which is pretty excessive.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:53 AM
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63: Oops - I misunderstood the dates on the pictures. I agree with potchkeh in 58 that the 2013 pic looks more like New Zellwegger.

The 2012 pic in 56 is, for me, Old Zellwegger.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:56 AM
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Weight loss/gain is what renders people un recognizable to me. My cousin had been fairly husky from a very young age (4ish) into early adulthood . I didn't see him for about four years during which he dropped about 100 pounds (I'm guessing blindly--no idea how much he lost, other than a lot). Anyway, the next time I saw him was at an event with his whole family, at which I was expecting to see him, and was looking for him, and yet even when he walked up and said hello how's it going I still didn't recognize him until he actually introduced himself to me. That was embarrassing. I pretended like I recognized him all along (why are you introducing yourself to me, we're cousins), but I think he saw through me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:00 AM
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73

62: Word. She's gained and lost weight for roles before. Still kept the same face!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:02 AM
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74

I'm on Team Unrecognizable, but I'm also reminded that Zooey Deschanel is almost literally unrecognizable without bangs. I think that, among Hollywood-pretty people, we mostly rely on what minor quirks there are to be able to identify them, because otherwise they all tend to look alike.

I've come to recognize Ryan Gosling because of the memes, but among the current crop of hunky 25-30 year olds, I can't distinguish them at all - they're all names attached to handsome faces, but I couldn't possibly catch it if they were assigned randomly*. Some of that is interest, obvs., but it's sort of like distinguishing model years of post-1965 cars - unless you're a maven, a '70s Caprice looks like a '70s Caprice, and a blonde hunk looks like a blonde hunk.

*I've even thought that I recognized Channing Tatum and thought, "Ah, I've finally figured out who that guy is." Needless to say, it was another guy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:03 AM
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75

Blond hunk. Does gender mean nothing to you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:08 AM
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73: Yes, but after a certain age that becomes less do-able. It's the old Catherine Deneuve "ass or face" dilemma.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:09 AM
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One doll story

I checked yesterday, my nearby Toys R Us is not selling any of the action figures from Breaking Bad with toy plastic meth included, second doll story.

In other breaking celebrity gossip, Ice Cube's family comedy has had over 100 episodes made, I think that's the syndication threshold. I'm still fascinated by the way that hip-hop stars are becoming family comedy draws-- LL Cool J and Queen Latifah as well, maybe others I can't think of. I probably shouldn't be surprised, it's a normal development, makes sense both for the individuals and culturally given what's happened with hip-hop.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:10 AM
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I think that, among Hollywood-pretty people, we mostly rely on what minor quirks there are to be able to identify them, because otherwise they all tend to look alike

I don't really know what definition of "we" you're using here, but if it's anything other than the royal we this statement is empirically false.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:12 AM
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74. Not sure about that.

I mean, about the actors, sure, but I figure that it's generational for me.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:13 AM
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73: Yes, but after a certain age that becomes less do-able. It's the old Catherine Deneuve "ass or face" dilemma.

It's a good thing Apo's not in this thread.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:15 AM
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|| Shooting in Ottawa in the Parliament buildings (and other location(s)) |>


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:21 AM
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78 cont'd: that is, it's not necessarily empirically false that they tend to look more like each other than the population at large -- attractive people tend to have more average features, so that's perfectly possible -- but lots and lots of people are perfectly capable of recognizing movie stars (even generically hunky young ones) without relying on minor quirks or hairstyle or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:23 AM
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At my twentieth high school reunion, I found that people were split about fifty-fifty between having hardly changed at all and being completely unrecognizable. But 'completely unrecognizable' was hardly ever just aging, it was usually some combination of facial hair, balding, and major weight gain.

But a lot of people in high school haven't actually hit their adult look yet. What's striking about this case is that we're talking about an age change from mid 30's to mid 40's without major weight or hair change.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:25 AM
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Recognizing people and recognizing their images are different.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:25 AM
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85

I think loss of fat in cheeks and generally which is a normal aging thing but has disproportionate effects depending on how much you start with and how fat lays on the bones of your particular face. Possibly a not very subtle eye lift but honestly given the business she's in I can't see getting on her case about that. Deneuve was great on this in an old interview with terry gross years ago (bonus - includes deliciously awkward moment of mutual incomprehension between the two re perfume), also Karina Longworth did a wonderful podcast on Kim Novak and the knife (or more accurately syringe, if I recall correctly).


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:30 AM
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Longworth piece here: http://m.soundcloud.com/karinalongworth/kimnovak


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:37 AM
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78, 82: Then why is Deschanel so hard to recognize simply when her bangs are pulled back? This isn't an invention of a royal "we", it's a much commented-upon observation.

I mean, it should probably go without saying that 74 shouldn't be read hyperbolically (if I watched a ton of movies with hunks in them, I'm sure I'd learn to distinguish them), but right here in this thread people have argued that Zellweger, a famously distinctive-looking actress, has been rendered nigh-unrecognizable by a change in eye makeup and eyebrow-plucking.

Either these small things make big differences or they don't.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:43 AM
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But a lot of people in high school haven't actually hit their adult look yet.

Until my late 20s, I don't think anyone ever thought I looked like my dad. Since then, it's becoming increasingly clear that I'm a dead ringer for him. A lot of that is hair loss, of course, but it's apparent throughout my face.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:45 AM
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87.1: I'm sure she is, for some people. People are different, and recognize people in different ways.

87.3: or they do to some people, and not to others.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:46 AM
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I probably shouldn't be surprised, it's a normal development, makes sense both for the individuals and culturally given what's happened with hip-hop.

Not surprising at all, really. Ice Cube and Queen Latifah are both natural acting talents. That they pursued entertainment careers is understandable; that they got their start in the entertainment business in the genre that is most readily accessible to African-Americans is to be expected; that they migrated to a different genre once their careers were established is also a predictable development. I would compare it to the gestation of Jewish TV and movie talent in the Borscht Belt in the mid 20th century.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:46 AM
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91

You move and talk so much like him, I don't think a similar appearance is needed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:47 AM
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92

I could see that a seemingly minor eye surgery could result in a major change in how the face is perceived. Combine that with some weight loss, a different approach to makeup, and a very different facial expression (does Zellweger purse her lips in every photo on purpose? out of anxiety?), and I could see that being enough.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:47 AM
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93

91 to 88.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:47 AM
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Possibly it's that we (by which I mean people who recognize other people at all) recognize different people by different methods? Someone who has a particularly distinctive feature (like puffy-cheeked squintiness, or Deschanel's bangs) is going to have their recognizability disproportionately affected by anything that impacts that. Someone else without a standout caricaturable feature is going to be harder to render unrecognizable, because people recognize them by a gestalt of all of their features rather than relying on the one thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:48 AM
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People are different, and recognize people in different ways.

It's neuroscience.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:49 AM
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I would compare it to the gestation of Jewish TV and movie talent in the Borscht Belt in the mid 20th century.

Don't call it the catskills for me its just kill/take my wife but not my AK cuz the punchline's ill


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:50 AM
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a very different facial expression (does Zellweger purse her lips in every photo on purpose? out of anxiety?)

I thought about bringing this up, but I figured I'd just get called a robot again. But all the old, 'recognizable' pictures seem to be of her doing a particular pouty grimace that she's not doing in the new pictures.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 9:58 AM
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I saw this story months ago, not sure why it's suddenly popped back up again this week. I looked at lots of photos of her today, first of all thinking that she HAD had surgery because her eyes used to be puffy ... but then saw several pictures of her from Jerry Maguire era where her eyes looked much less puffy ... so I am currently leaning back to she's just got older, lost weight, and her face is thinner. Arse/face indeed.

Reminded me of Jason Segal. Took me ages to get used to his new face at the beginning of whichever series of HIMYM it was when he turned up all old and scrawny.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:27 AM
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This is silly--did the surgery take off the dark lipstick and false eyelashes?--but cornea surgery, maybe? The reaction to her appearance before and after is excessive--some secret rumor that she really needed bottle-top glasses to see but was too "vain" to wear them on-camera? Not that anyone cares.

Also before botox was approved for general use, it was used for uncontrolled squinting/blinking that has no known cause and is often worse under bright lights. Maybe I'll ask my mother if it looks like she had the same thing.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:33 AM
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I'm still waiting for botox to be approved as a flavoring for canned food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:34 AM
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99.2: you don't have a link for that, do you? I'd be curious to read about it. I know that its first therapeutic use was in treatments for strabismus.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:38 AM
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http://www.blepharospasm.org/blepharospasm-treatments.html


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:41 AM
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This is silly which isn't to say I or anyone else shouldn't comment about it.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:43 AM
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Interesting, thanks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:44 AM
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74: Sometimes I wonder how much of my fondness for particular actors is based on my ability to identify them from movie to movie, generally because they look slightly less like the other Hollywood people. Daniel Day-Lewis, that guy who plays Young Professor X, Tilda Swinton - I can reliably spot them on movie posters, whereas I can't tell the other ones apart very much and have no real sense of who has what kind of career. Perhaps some of them are terrific actors! But for me for all practical purposes, there might as well only be about ten actors in all of Hollywood and I have no idea which ones are in good movies and which ones not.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:47 AM
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It also helps, now that I think about it, if they have unusual names. That's why I can't remember that guy who plays Young Professor X - I can only remember that he has a very ordinary name.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:52 AM
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Patrick Stewart?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:55 AM
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105: In the first conversation we had around here about the science of being lousy at recognizing people, someone mentioned that people who are clinically lousy at recognizing people tend to be romantically involved with visually distinctive partners. When I met Buck, he was 29, 6'2" and 135lbs, and absolutely bald with a giant bushy Civil War general-type goatee. I'm not saying that I started dating him only because I could reliably pick him out of a crowd, but I can't help but wonder if it was a factor.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 10:55 AM
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"It doesn't help that a lot of the sites running stories about Dramatic Differences! are using photos of her from 2003/2004, which is pretty excessive. "

The last movie I recognize in her IMDB is Cinderella Man from 2005.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:00 AM
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108: It wasn't a factor in you dating him, it was a factor in you not losing him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:00 AM
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Good Vox piece on this.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:02 AM
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105: The cast of Lincoln was chockablock with American actors who might have been stars, at least briefly, in the 1970s, but who don't have the looks for it nowadays. I have no idea why.

That said, more and more I find it difficult to tell Swinton and Cate Blanchett apart.


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:09 AM
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That's easy. One was an evil white witch and one was a good one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:15 AM
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I look back and forth between the photos of her and, besides her hairstyle, can't figure out exactly what it is that looks so different but she does indeed look like a different person altogether.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:15 AM
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Also I look back and forth between my new computer and my old computer and forget that I have not yet entered my name on this one.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:16 AM
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Swinton is rather distinctive in her public appearances.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:18 AM
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111: That Vox article is idiotic.

All Renee Zellweger did was what we told her to do: look different. Do a Google search for "Renee Zellweger squinty eyes." You'll draw up more than 3,000 hits, most of them critical of the actress' appearance.

WTF, what do you mean "we", white man? Internet commenters? Zellweger spent over a decade as a beloved A list actress in movies regularly grossing in the nine figures so maybe "we", in the public at large sense, were telling her no such thing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:40 AM
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I thought about bringing this up, but I figured I'd just get called a robot again. But all the old, 'recognizable' pictures seem to be of her doing a particular pouty grimace that she's not doing in the new pictures.

You are right! (About being called a robot.) She's doing the same expression in many of the photos with her new face, it's just not nearly as distinctive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:43 AM
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WTF, what do you mean "we", white man?

I'm with Minivet. My basic point was that she was not doing anti-aging surgery, she was doing responding-to-mean-trolls surgery.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:44 AM
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That seems strange. She should just stalker her trolls, call them at work, and stand outside their houses. The way writers deal with trolls.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:47 AM
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When I did theater in high school, some of the boys, especially, were almost unrecognizable in their stage makeup. Normally, they had good bone structure, but with makeup, they looked like movie stars.

(I just remembered, apropos of nothing, that I chose this pseud in part for the Chicago resonances (dark/light Catherine/Bianca contrast, along with other neat things involving my realname and Mr. Steele's.).


Posted by: bianca steele | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:56 AM
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Having just checked, I've seen zero of the movies she's been in. Why do I know who she is? (The name was familiar before this face issue)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:57 AM
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I look back and forth between the photos of her and, besides her hairstyle, can't figure out exactly what it is that looks so different but she does indeed look like a different person altogether.

It's the eyes. She used to have these smiling squinty eyes, which were quite fine and appealing, friendly-like. Along with the eye change is a eyebrow job of some kind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 11:59 AM
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they had good bone structure

Is that an actual thing? The one thing I've noticed about skulls is that they tend to all look pretty much the same.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:01 PM
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I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows.

(maybe you could find something else to talk about now? ok?)


Posted by: Renee | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:02 PM
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We could go back to butts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:05 PM
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122: Because she dated Jack White? and Jim Carrey? Because she was briefly married to Kenny Chesney? Because she won an Academy Award?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:09 PM
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she was doing responding-to-mean-trolls surgery

I have no beef with Renee Zellweger -- she can do whatever she wants, and she looks fine now as she did then -- but that Vox piece is whiny, frankly.

Renee Zellweger did what we asked. She looked different. Except, she did it in a way where we couldn't write it off as a natural, God-given change. And now we are furious at her, because she makes us face ourselves. We don't like ourselves for asking her to be different. We don't like feeling bad about what we are really asking women to do.

What gswift said: who's this "we"?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:09 PM
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Shh. She can hear you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:09 PM
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My guess would be eyelift* + aging, thinning face, but I think she doesn't look like herself -- what's interesting is that she looks good, not like someone who's had too much work done -- almost as if her-now was the before picture and her with the cherubic face was the after. Plus a more natural hair color. So maybe oudemia and Tweety are right! She was really thin in Chicago and still round-cheeky.

*No judgment. Eyes that go squinty when you smile are often eyes that get hooded as one ages, and she's in an industry where appearance matters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:09 PM
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she was doing responding-to-mean-trolls surgery

That might be the case but I'm pushing back against the notion that internet trolls = societal pressure, especially in this case. A career like hers is just about the most affirmation of someone's looks that can had in this world.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:11 PM
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A career like hers is just about the most affirmation of someone's looks that can had in this world

This... is not how human psychology works.

(It's also not how Hollywood works.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:15 PM
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Didn't the pressure from mean trolls for Renee Zellweger to change her appearance peak around 1999? Why now? I mean, at age 45, mean trolls are not going to be happy with any way a woman looks.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:16 PM
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131: Maybe she thought she was succeeding on her vast acting talents, in spite of her obviously flawed looks (mostly facetious, but cf. the The Toast piece by An Unfogged Regular.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:18 PM
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+)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:18 PM
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133 to, um... (scroll scroll)... 67.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:19 PM
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132: The article at The Toast by a certain commenter about her experiences working in a spa might be relevant to this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:19 PM
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I'm assuming that's an emoticon for 'smiling despite having lost your only eye.'


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:20 PM
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(It's also not how Hollywood works.)

Maybe eventually, but she wasn't some one hit wonder. Obviously none of us are privy to the inner workings of her career but she got a lot of big parts for a long time with pretty much the exact same look.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:20 PM
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Thank you, josh. 131 last is either really obtuse or bizarre. Or both!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:21 PM
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Talking about "internet trolls" as being distinct from "the patriarchy" in this context seems misguided. It's easy enough to understand the pressure that an actor is under, and it existed long before Internet trolls did.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:26 PM
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..Along with the eye change is a eyebrow job of some kind.

"Eyebrow job" in this case looks indistinguishable from "plucking and makeup changes", so I'm not sure we can go as far as plastic surgery...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:38 PM
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I will never forget the word strabismus since it was in a NY Times puzzle and I couldn't get it. I think I had read it in a bio of Norma Shearer maybe but it refused to be accessed. Good ol' Norma Shearer. Now there's a strabismist for you. The strabismist with the bismostest, really.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:49 PM
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The thing I don't understand about arguing that it might be weight changes is that aside from her time as Bridget Jones, Zelleweger is generally on the painfully thin side, and still is. Though I suppose you might lose weight in the face specifically as an artifact of aging. That being said (and I don't really like admitting that I was even thinking it, but oh well), I used to think that she was pretty consistently doing something to her face (merely speculation, down to a certain tightness around the eyes) and now she looks like she isn't.

So far most of the people in my family age really, really well. I'm hoping I manage to age as well as my mom.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:49 PM
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I'm not claiming no societal pressure. What I'm skeptical of is that that pressure was to be different. I think that Vox article's author doing internet searches and concluding a pressure to change is totally at odds with Zellweger's professional success. I think that success almost certainly means the pressure would be to keep that look forever. Which is a common shitty societal pressure, but it's not the same thing.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:50 PM
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143: often hanging with its pal Amblyopia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:52 PM
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Though I suppose you might lose weight in the face specifically as an artifact of aging.

That's the line someone quoted above: "After forty, you have to choose between your face and your ass." A young woman can be very very thin and still have a rounded face, but a very thin middle-aged woman is much more likely to look kind of haggard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:52 PM
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It is true, I say from experience, that when you lose weight + you age + pluck eyebrows + do makeup changes, you look rather different. I don't know what the argument is. I don't know whether to thank or curse heebie for providing a Buzzfeed style post.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:53 PM
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147: Heh, I did read those and apparently selectively forgot. One of my colleagues is very fond of saying that, and then gesturing to her ample (but lovely) body and saying it's obvious which she has chosen. I guess I don't know anyone who has chosen the face, because that type of facial thinness isn't something I don't think I've seen in person from aging.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:55 PM
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Looking over the last 8 or 9 years of Renee Zellweger pix, it sure seems like the overall change in her appearance -- eyes, cheekbones, mouth -- happened somewhere in the 2006-2008 timeframe. Comparing 2014 to any time 2008-2013 doesn't look profoundly different to me. Jeez. People get old.

Slightly related, I re-viewed Ocean's 13 last night, and holy shit, does David Paymer nail his role. People, by which I mean film critics and casting directors, need to pay way more attention to typage if they want to understand how a role like that can make a movie.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:56 PM
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Or the very thin older ladies I know have just been super lucky!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:56 PM
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Well, 'kind of haggard' can be a good look, if you're one of the people it looks good on -- I think RZ actually looks perfectly good now. I'm not saying very thin older women are all hideous, just that there's a kind of youthfully rounded look that doesn't go with being that think when you're older.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 12:58 PM
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"Eyebrow job" in this case looks indistinguishable from "plucking and makeup changes", so I'm not sure we can go as far as plastic surgery...

I'm afraid this is way off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:00 PM
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The other thing to note here is that pretty much any photo you see in the media today is benefitting from some kind of Photoshop attention. There's no such thing as an "unretouched" photo in a newspaper or whatever. So, basically, every RZ image is an artifact, not just of the choices the photographer made at the time the shot was taken, but also those made by a number of editors, producers and technicians down the line.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:05 PM
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Is there no one else who can't let go of the fact that there is the slightest possibility that 125 could be alethonymous, and is now lightly anxious and obsessing about it? Eggplant? Someone?


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:11 PM
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154 is not true. If it's put out by the celebrity's PR team, it's been retouched. If it's being put out by TMZ or some paparazzi, it probably hasn't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:12 PM
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A young woman can be very very thin and still have a rounded face, but a very thin middle-aged woman is much more likely to look kind of haggard.

This is my destiny. I mean, not the "very thin" part, but I'm scrawnyish and have a narrow, nasolabial-fold-y and crinkly-eye face to begin with. Also I am chronically sleep-deprived. DUCHESS OF HAGGARD!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:12 PM
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155: No worries, I have magical IP checking powers and we're fine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:12 PM
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158: But I was having fun!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:14 PM
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Whoops. Your expression was too Botoxed for me to detect it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:16 PM
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Is there no one else here who's worried that heebie has magical powers?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:20 PM
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I talk a lot about superpowers with Hokey Pokey, actually. My superpowers are the power of reproduction and the power to see around corners. His superpower is that he has sperm in his testicles, even though he's only three.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:23 PM
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156: No, it really is. I've seen 'em do it. They don't just pop the card out of a digital camera and *poof* it's on the web. Somebody's going in there and fiddling with light levels and what not on every single photo. And a lot of that fiddling is relatively subjective/arbitrary. I'm not saying they're going in there and erasing wrinkles with the smudge tool, but there's no such thing as a 'natural' picture of someone. It's all manipulated at some level, and often, as I say above, at many levels.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:25 PM
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163: Well, okay, but they're not doing it with the celebrity's best interests at heart. They're doing it to get a better price from whatever magazine or venue, which is going to produce a differently altered photo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:29 PM
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Even for non-digital photos, which, of course, we see only rarely nowadays, someone's deciding technical details at every step. Pick up a newspaper or magazine from a night when the printers were hung over and you'll see just how crucial some of those decisions are to getting a believable level of reproduction of the image.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:29 PM
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Yeah, but I'm saying: If you personally went and gazed upon RZ ten years ago, and did it again today, what you would be seeing is very different from how the photographer, editors, web designers and hardware manufacturers have decided you will see.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:31 PM
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My superpower is usually being able to figure out the word you want to use of but can't think of.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:33 PM
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167: Ok, so what is it?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:35 PM
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Plethora.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:40 PM
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Well I didn't say my superpower involved telling you what the word is, now did I?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:40 PM
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Because that part wouldn't require anything special?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:43 PM
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I'm actually grateful to hear Natilo's caution about all this: truly, what we see of celebrities is rarely if ever a candid shot, which is why the rest of us look so .. normal, and often unphotogenic .. in our own candid shots (should we possess them).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:50 PM
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170: Aha! An evil genius! He knows the word you're trying to.... (goddam what's the word!) but he won't tell you. How nefarious!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 1:57 PM
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I'm not seeing the cheek differences that some of you see. To me her cheeks now and in the past look nearly identical, modulo makeup and lighting.

It looks to me like the difference is mostly localized to the eyes (and maybe eyebrows). A substantial fraction of that is probably explicable with a combination of makeup (she was using more of it in the past) and possibly age-related thinning of the eyebrows.

I'll admit I didn't recognize her from these photos at first, but I think the differences are much less dramatic than most people seem to be making them out to be.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 3:57 PM
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[drive-by] The "I'm not seeing a big difference" people are on crack.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 4:52 PM
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Before.

After.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 4:56 PM
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176: So, your point is that people change a lot in 18-19 years? Or that people wearing lots of make-up and shot on 35mm film stock which is then edited look different from how they look with much less make-up, under substantially different lighting, shot on digital?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:04 PM
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177: no? My point is that she is recognizably the same in those photos, whereas people finding dramatic differences are mostly comparing photos with larger differences in facial expression.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:07 PM
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I think his point was that she didn't actually look so terribly different in those two pictures, despite the many differences and the decade separation.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:08 PM
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I added val... oh. No, I did not. Here, this will help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:11 PM
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No, it won't.

Okay that was my third guess.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:12 PM
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Anyhoo, I just accomplished a house project in about 2 hours that has stymied me for the past 6 years. So that's pretty awesome. Getting nervous about going back to work next week. But I should have some time to settle in, as there are weeks and weeks of paid training.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:15 PM
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Trying a different one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:16 PM
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Or here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:17 PM
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Or here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:18 PM
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182: Good luck at the new job. Hope you make enough money to bribe a cop of your choice.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:33 PM
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182: Good luck at the new job. Hope you make enough money to bribe a cop of your choice.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:34 PM
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Or two cops, apparently. How did that happen?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 5:35 PM
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I blame Shia LeBeouf.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 7:06 PM
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What if this is all just elaborate PR and it will soon be revealed that RZ is going to star in a remake of Dark Passage playing the Bogart role?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-22-14 8:47 PM
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Speaking of Deneuve, as we were 114 comments ago, in some of these she remains instantly recognisable across the decades, while in others she doesn't. Which all goes to show. Or not, as the case may be.

Make up, lighting and angles.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 2:46 AM
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86. Thanks, dq, that's really good.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 8:07 AM
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lw - never thought anyone could interest me in 1.5 hours of talk re Madonna, but Karina Longworth managed it! Her Frances Farmer and Theda Bara pieces are I think my favorites, though. She's now on Infinite Guest.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 10:50 AM
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183-185 have that song in my head now, except it is impossible to remember how the words fit to the rhythm, as I discovered on many occasions at Marie's.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 11:16 AM
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I don't believe the "new" photos are really her. It's a publicity stunt.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 1:35 PM
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195: Please elaborate, urple! Is it like the Joaquin Phoenix thing?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-23-14 1:40 PM
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