It was right before the 2003 Oscars.

By Christopher Luu
Updated Jan 09, 2020 @ 8:30 pm
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Back in 2003, Renée Zellweger and Salma Hayek were both nominated for Academy Awards. Zellweger was up for Chicago and Hayek was nominated thanks to her role in Frida. And while they were up for the same award — Best Actress — Hayek explained that Zellweger helped her out at the eleventh hour, because the night before the awards ceremony, her dressed ripped. Thankfully, Zellweger had an extra dress and Hayek managed to make it to the show and still look amazing.

Hayek presented the Best Actress award to Zellweger at the National Board of Review Awards Gala last night in New York and shared the story. Though they both lost to Nicole Kidman, the wardrobe malfunction brought them closer.

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"It was annoying because at some point I would go, I wish she wins, she's so amazing," Hayek said of Zellweger and the 2003 awards season. Both had been nominated for multiple awards and saw each other throughout the monthslong stretch between film festivals and the Oscars.

"And even the night before when my big butt exploded the seams of my Oscar dress and I had no dress for the Oscars, she ended up giving me one of her dresses that, thank God, was wide here [gestured around her butt] and stretchy here [gestured around her breasts]. That's what I wore for that night," Hayek said. That year, she wore a black-and-white gown by Carolina Herrera.

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She went on to say that Zellweger had a "heart of gold and never says unkind things about others," People reports. The feeling is mutual. The magazine notes that Zellweger ran into Hayek at the airport. Zellweger was taking a hiatus from acting at the time and said that Hayek offered some sage advice.

"She shared this beautiful … metaphor? Analogy? 'The rose doesn’t bloom all year … unless it’s plastic,'" Zellweger said. "I got it. Because what does that mean? 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."

The rest seems to be exactly what Zellweger needed. She's back on the awards circuit with her role in Judy, which just earned her a Golden Globe.