Bridget Jone

s star Renee Zellweger has opened up on the public scrutiny her appearance received late last year.

The 46-year-old actress became a topic of chatter on social media over her different look at a Beverly Hills awards event in October, 2014.

She told Entertainment Weekly she handled the scrutiny by ignoring it and admitted the experience had changed her.

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"What good comes from knowing that something like that happened? Less fear. Sure," she told EW.

The Oscar winner said she had not read the media coverage.

"All that I know about is what friends and associates would send in texts and emails," she said.

"I know it sounds pretty unlikely that a person might be able to make herself, I guess, keep clear of those words or of that experience, but I have and it takes effort."

At the time, Zellweger told People magazine she was glad people noticed the change.

"I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled perhaps it shows."

Zellweger's third Bridget Jones film, Bridget Jones's Baby, is in cinemas next September. The film includes the return of Colin Firth and welcomes former Grey's Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey. AAP