Texas-born Renée Zellweger is a great put-on artist. To play the title role in Bridget Jones's Diary
, she not only perfected a Brtish accent, she packed 20 extra pounds onto her slender 5'5" frame. "It was kind of fun to order the pizza and the French bread," says the 32-year-old actress, who took three months to bulk up. After filming ended, she stripped the pounds off again—but her shape-shifting is hardly the key to her girl-next-door appeal. Bridget
director Sharon Maguire was enchanted, she says, with the actress's "beautiful, very warm face. She doesn't look like a harsh person, and she is very approachable." Eechoes costar Colin Firth: "She's got a sweet smile, which I think comes from her ability to tease and have fun and laugh at her self." Growing up in rural Katy, Texas, Zellweger ruefully recalls "using up my lifetime allotment of mascara in two years" at Katy High School and being a "fountain-haired" '80s teen. "I won't even go into the investment I made in Final Net." Now living alone in L.A., Zellweger, who split with boyfriend Jim Carrey last December, has adopted a minimalist beauty philosophy. She takes her mixed-breed dog Woof on three-mile runs in the hills near her home and practices yoga. She also relies on her trusty eyebrow tweezers ("a very important utilitarian cosmetic tool"), a Maybelline concealer stick and an attitude of gratitude. "Look around, look at everything," Zellweger says. "Look at what's possible. Even when everything else is awful, there is something good, always."