The 50-year-old star, who withdrew from the limelight after a performance at the Elle Women at the Hollywood Awards 2014, led to speculation that she had undergone plastic surgery, recalling the "rather painful" moment she heard strangers negatively discussing her appearance
During an appearance on American radio station SiriusXM's "Jess Cagle Show", Zellweger said that she was sitting next to two women and a man "on a subway in London" as they began discussing celebrities.
"They talked about … how Hollywood ladies are so stupid, and especially that Renée Zellweger," she said.
Zellweger said they kept saying, "How could she do that? Why would she go and have an operation on her face that we wouldn't know? She doesn't look like herself, and you can't just do that You walk and don't look like yourself, because we expect you to look like yourself. "
She said the meeting left her temporarily stunned:" I thought, "Wow, that's interesting. Anyway, here's my stop. "even more troublesome when the man got up just before her stop, looked up and recognized her.
" He said, "Oh God, you're not! But you look just like yourself!" And I said, "Yeah, it's funny how it works, isn't it?" "
While hurt by the public outcry, Zellweger insisted that the interaction served only as a reminder that she needed to maintain a positive outlook on life.
" It's just a moment where you go, "Jeez "Wow, that's pretty painful." But I don't live in it, she said. "It's just visiting my life here and there and I'm not really interested in it until someone sends it to me. I'm not looking for it.
" And I'm busy! You know, I have dogs and they have to have shots and they need pills twice a day. There's a lot, you know. I have other things to do. "
Zellweger has previously denied having undergone surgery and said in a statement that she" lived another, happier and more fulfilling life. "
CNN has reached out to Zellweger's representatives for comment.