“Can you hold this for a minute?” asks Renee Zellweger with a laugh, as I juggle an iPod, pen and notepad. Zellweger is charming, relaxed and delicate looking in her Carolina Herrera dress at An Evening With Women, the fundraiser for women’s services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.
No, Zellweger isn’t a lesbian—but she would pretend to be one if the right part came along.
“I wouldn’t play her just because she was a lesbian,” she says with a good-natured grin. “It’s all about the character and the story that she has to tell. I’m not seeking specifically lesbian parts to play.”
The Oscar-winning actress came to the Beverly Hills soiree at the invitation of Linda Perry, the singer-songwriter-producer who turned the annual fundraiser into a celebrity-packed, must-do event.
“She told me about the work the center does and she asked me to be a part of it,” says Zellweger simply. “I was honored [so] I said yes.” But it was Zellweger who originally made an effort to meet Linda Perry. “I just called her,” she said. “I’m a big fan and admired her for such a long time.”
Zellweger also put her body on the line, so to speak, for An Evening With Women. Carolina Herrera, whose clients include Nicole Kidman, Shakira and Salma Hayek, fashioned a strapless cocktail dress for Renee that would be auctioned for the cause. Herrera also designed Zellweger’s wedding dress (she was briefly married to Kenny Chesney). I’m not sure of the dress size but as we chatted about the Center’s good works, it was obvious that Zellweger is more Chicago than Bridget Jones’ Diary. There’s no way she could share Bridget’s fondness for cartons of ice cream and stay that tiny. (For details on the dress and/or to make a bid)
Meanwhile, actress AnnaLynne McCord, the beautiful rich bitch on 90210 and formerly of Nip/Tuck, arrived for An Evening With Women on her own accord. “I work a lot with human rights, I’m a very big activist against trafficking [of women],” the lovely blonde says with passionate determination. “We’re all part of the human race, not male or female, gay or straight, Black or White, Catholic or Judaism. …That’s what we’re here representing tonight, equality.”
The talented and tastefully tattooed Kat Von D helped raise thousands of dollars for the Center by a tattoo session up for auction, while bidding on a private studio session with Linda Perry. “I met Linda just through tattooing,” says the colorful artist. She’s impressive in articulating the reasons why society judges people who don’t conform to the norm. “I think that people in general make a big deal about non-important things because of fear of the unknown,” says Von D. “Being tattooed I can relate on a lot of levels because there are a lot of judgments made a lot of negative stereotypes but it just born out of ignorance, to be honest with you.”
Hear bits of my interviews and snippets of amazing performances by Linda Perry and Heart below: