During an interview for Harper’s Bazaar‘s April Issue, the Oscar winner opened up about how she and Anstead sparked their romance — spoiler alert: in a serendipitous twist credit goes to the “Property Brothers” and Brad Pitt.
The “Bridget Jones’ Diary” actress recalled watching an episode of “Celebrity IOU” that featured Brad Pitt re-doing his friend’s garage with the help of the Property Brothers near the time her movie “Judy” had been released.
At the time, she was still mourning the death of her friend and publicist Nanci Ryder who had passed away from ALS in 2020 at the age of 67.
Zellweger revealed that she had been inspired by the episode and became interested in filming an episode of her own. She wished to celebrate the nurses who had taken care of Ryder during her final years. However, instead of the original “Celebrity IOU” show, Renee had accidentally signed up to participate in the show’s spin-off called “Celebrity IOU: Joyride” which was hosted by Anstead.
The “Chicago” star joked about how she and Anstead like to believe that Ryder was an important factor in bringing them together. “We do joke about that,” she remarked. “She’s always doing her best. It made me smile. It made me smile to think on this, yeah, the serendipity of it all.”
Renee’s episode aired in August 2021 and Anstead helped repair two classic vintage cars for Ryder’s caregivers Jerald Cowan and his twin brother Jerome Cowan. While the nurses left the HGTV show with new wheels, Zellweger left with a new flame.
Earlier this year in January, in an interview with Us Weekly, the “For the Love of Cars” star revealed that Zellweger had met his older children over the phone before they had any interaction in person.
He described the introduction as organic, “They’d had a chance to meet many, many times on FaceTime,” he said at the time. “So it wasn’t a case of, ‘Hey, here’s someone new.’ It was all very organic. … It was really nice. They came for three weeks. We just switched off and made sure we spent time together. It was amazing.”
Although the couple are enjoying their romance, the reality personality clarified that they’re far from considering marriage.
“Absolutely not,” he concluded. “I mean … what’s the rush?”