During an appearance on TODAY, the two-time Oscar winning actress revealed she had pursued higher education after she stepped away from the spotlight from 2010 to 2016 -- the hiatus ending with "Bridget Jones's Baby."
The actress admitted she took a break from Hollywood in an effort to better herself and "grow as a person."
"[I] went to school," Zellweger said. "I snuck into UCLA for a little while and did some public policy."
"[I am] just really interested... in politics. It's one of my favorite things," the 52-year-old laughed. "I'll bore you to death at a dinner party. I really will."
"I needed to step away and kinda grow as a person, learn [some things] that were not related to work. I mean that's one of my favorite things about the work. You have the opportunity to learn things that you wouldn't otherwise have occasion to explore," she explained.
In a 2019 interview with Vulture, Zellweger detailed exactly how necessary it was for her mental health to remove herself from the limelight.
"I wasn't healthy. I wasn't taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities," she spoke about meeting with a therapist.
"He recognized that I spent 99 percent of my life as the public persona and just a microscopic crumb of a fraction in my real life. I needed to not have something to do all the time, to not know what I’m going to be doing for the next two years in advance," she continued. "I wanted to allow for some accidents. There had to be some quiet for the ideas to slip in."
She also revealed Salma Hayek had given her a piece of advice that she internalized, giving her the push to take a break from the big screen.
"She shared this beautiful … metaphor? Analogy? 'The rose doesn't bloom all year … unless it's plastic," she shared. "It means that you have to fake that you're okay to go and do this next thing. And you probably need to stop right now, but this creative opportunity is so exciting and it's once-in-a-lifetime and you will regret not doing it. But actually, no, you should collect yourself and, you know … rest."
Zellweger is currently promoting her newest project -- a true crime series that will air on NBC called "The Thing About Pam" based on Pam Hupp's role in the murder of Betsy Faria.