What Catherine Zeta-Jones' Relationship With Renée Zellweger Is Like Today

Usually, when two Hollywood A-listers work together, it doesn't take long for the baseless reports of off-camera feuding to emerge. Correction, whenever two female A-listers work together, the tabloid trope of rivals scheming and back-stabbing only usually applies to XX chromosome actors — rarely XY. Somehow though, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones managed to escape concocted catfight rumors when they shot "Chicago" in 2001. Maybe the tabloids were too occupied coming up with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman's divorce fall-out follow-up stories.

Or, perhaps it's because Zellweger and Zeta-Jones were bonafide onset sidekicks from the get-go. Per IMDb, Zellweger played the scheming Roxanne "Roxie" Hart, and Zeta-Jones portrayed the nightclub singer-turned-murderer, Velma Kelly. The movie was a smash hit. It won six Oscars, including Best-Supporting Actress for Zeta-Jones, and was nominated for another seven, including Best Lead Actress for Zellweger.

"Chicago" director Rob Marshall told The Guardian that the two women's contrasting skills perfectly complemented one another. Zeta-Jones had danced professionally for years in the U.K., so despite being pregnant during filming, she had the hoofing down pat. However, Zeta-Jones wasn't renowned for her singing talent. Meanwhile, "RZ can carry a tune, but she clearly can't dance," one movie fan opined. Zellweger admitted she was immediately spellbound when she first watched Zeta-Jones perform. "Sitting there in the room and watching Catherine,'" she said (via Bustle). "[It was] the magic of it, the literal magic of it." So what's Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones' relationship like today?

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger are Hollywood besties

Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones immediately became friends when they worked on "Chicago." Zellweger raved about Zeta-Jones in her breathy 2003 Golden Globes speech. "[Thank you] Harvey Weinstein. The tough guy on the playground with the biggest heart," she started off to rapturous applause. Well, that definitely didn't age well, but at least it could only improve from then on. "Catherine the beauty," Zellweger decreed. "The laughter and listening to you every day, and being around you, being in your bliss like that. It was such a joy," she concluded.

Unlike many others, Zeta-Jones and Zellweger's relationship has stood the test of time. When the two actors reunited on the SAG Awards' red carpet in 2020, it had been 17 years since they'd worked together. However, according to People, Zellweger and Zeta-Jones "sweetly embraced" before catching up and chatting away like besties.

Later in the evening, Zellweger took to the stage to give an acceptance speech after winning for her role in "Judy." Thankfully, there was no mention of Weinstein this time, but she gave props to her fellow female actors. "Y'all have taught me so much along the way. And I'm so grateful to you, especially to my sisters," Zellweger said. Zeta-Jones continued to spread the love after the awards. "Wishing a congratulations to my dear friend Renée on all of your success with 'Judy.' It has been amazing to watch you!" She posted on Instagram (via Hello!).

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger both faced adversity

Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones became friends after a Hollywood twist of fate. While working on the movie 'Chicago," they forged a close bond that's continued to today. However, they almost didn't get the chance to collaborate on-camera. According to CNN, Jenifer Aniston was initially considered for the role of Roxie, the part Zellweger ultimately landed. Zeta-Jones and Aniston just doesn't have the same ring of friendship as Zeta-Jones and Zellweger. Maybe it's a Z-thing.

Or, perhaps it's because the two actors have faced similar adversities. Zeta-Jones and Zellweger have both revealed details of their struggles in life, and they've both taken extended breaks from acting. Zeta-Jones has talked openly about being diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and her battles with mental illness. "This is a disorder that affects millions of people, and I am one of them," she told People. "There is no need to suffer silently, and there is no shame in seeking help."

Meanwhile, Zellweger has fought her own dark demons. She decided to take a Hollywood hiatus and work on her mental health after suffering bouts of depression. "I wasn't healthy," she told Vulture. "I wasn't taking care of myself. I was the last thing on my list of priorities." Zellweger admitted feeling particularly dark after tabloids began dissecting her looks and speculating she'd had plastic surgery. "Nothing like international humiliation to set your perspective right! It clarifies what's important to you," she said.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.