Reese Witherspoon has branded Renee Zellweger's critics "cruel and rude."
The 38-year-old actress - who has reportedly been offered £20 million to replace the 45-year-old actress in the next installment of 'Bridget Jones' Diary' - admits she was horrified by the reaction Renee received after she displayed an astonishingly different look at ELLE's 21st annual Women In Hollywood Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles last month, sparking rumours she underwent extensive cosmetic surgery.
Asked about the attention surrounding Renee's appearance, the 'Wild' star said: "It's horrible. It's cruel and rude and disrespectful, and I can go on and on and on. It bothers me immensely."
The blonde beauty also thinks actresses are put under too much pressure to look perfect all of the time.
She told The Hollywood Reporter during its annual actress roundtable: "I know this is so Pollyanna of me, but why -- and it's particularly women -- why do they have to tear women down? And why do we have to tear other women down to build another woman up? It drives me crazy. Like, this one looks great without her makeup but that one doesn't look good without her makeup, and it's all just a judgment and assault that I don't -- look, men are prey to it as well. I just don't think it's with the same sort of ferocity."
Meanwhile, Reese would love to play Beyoncé on the big screen and admits she has "f**ked up" a few auditions in the past.
Discussing her most embarrassing moments in Hollywood, she said: "Bad auditions, where you just totally f**ked it up. I did this audition for a director and I really wanted that part. I got to the end of it and I thought I nailed it, and he was like, 'Why are you playing it stoned?' "