Renee Zellweger cherishes London memories

Renee Zellweger feels "so, so lucky" to have great memories of working in London.

The 50-year-old actress was delighted to return to the UK earlier this month, where she picked up the BAFTA Leading Actress award for her performance in 'Judy', because it will always hold a special place in her heart.

She told Grazia magazine: "I am so, so lucky to have so many wonderful friends and memories in this town."

Renee worked in the UK when she played the lead role in the 'Bridget Jones' movies and author Helen Fielding found her "lovely" to work with, even in the face of a backlash that the Texan star had been cast ahead of an English actress.

She said: "When she was cast as Bridget, there was a certain amount of outrage because she wasn't British. That must have hurt.

"People admire Renee for sticking with it and making a huge success of the role.

"[Her power comes from her] extraordinary ability to convey vulnerability - this is equally true with Bridget and Judy."

Now that awards season - during which Renee swept the board for the leading actress gongs - is over, the 'Jerry Maguire' actress will be returning to her quiet life back on her ranch.

A source said: "She likes to unwind through meditation, reading, writing, or just relaxing in the garden.

"It's her little piece of paradise and Topanga reminds her of Texas."

When she accepted her BAFTA Award, Renee dedicated the win to the late Judy Garland, who she portrayed in the biopic.

She said: "Miss Garland, London town which you have always loved so much, still loves you back. This is for you."

Renée also thanked the crew who worked with her on the production, as she hailed the awards ceremony as one of her "life's great blessings".

She said: "To all of our crew, look what we did! Invited to the BAFTAs in this town where Judy played her final shows, lived her final days. Alongside a film about that last chapter, made in this town by a group of folks who just wanted to collaboratively celebrate her, and look. It's pretty neat. Sharing this experience and this evening with you is among my life's great blessings, and I'm so grateful."