Secrets of Rene Russo! Do You Know?

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Who is Rene Russo?

Rene Marie Russo (born February 17, 1954) is a very well known famous American actress, producer, and former model. Russo began her renowned career in the 1970s as a fashion model appearing on several magazine covers including Vogue and Cosmopolitan. She made her film debut in the year 1989 with a comedy film Major League (is a 1989 American sports comedy film produced by Chris Chesser and Irby Smith, written and directed by David S. Ward, that stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, James Gammon, Bob Uecker, Rene Russo, and Corbin Bernsen. Made for only $11 million, Major League grossed nearly $50 million in domestic release. Major League deals with the exploits of a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, and spawned two sequels (Major League II and Back to the Minors), neither of which replicated the success of the original film). After that, Russo starred in a number of thrillers and action movies throughout the 1990s, including Mr. Destiny (1990) and One Good Cop (1991). In the 1990s, she also played Lorna Cole in Lethal Weapon 3 (1992), In the Line of Fire (1993), Outbreak (1995), Get Shorty (1995), Tin Cup (1996), Ransom (1996), Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000). After she starred in the family comedy Yours, Mine and Ours in 2005, she took a six-years-long break from any kind of acting.

After that, she appeared as Frigga, the mother of the titular hero in the superhero films Thor (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). In 2014, Russo co-starred in the crime thriller film Nightcrawler, for which she received critical praise, won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She appeared in the 2015 comedy film The Intern and starred in the action comedy Just Getting Started, which was released in December 2017.

Rene Russo personal life

Russo was born in beautiful Burbank, California, the daughter of Shirley, a factory worker and barmaid, and Nino Russo, a sculptor and car mechanic who left the family when Russo was only two years old. Her father was of Italian descent, while her mother had Italian, German, and English ancestry. Russo grew up with her sister, Toni (who would later marry songwriter Bernie Taupin), and attended Burroughs High School (where her classmates included director Ron Howard), dropping out in the tenth grade. She began taking a variety of part-time jobs to help her family, including working in an eyeglass factory and also as a movie theater cashier job which we may call as odd job.

Russo has been married to screenwriter Dan Gilroy since March 14, 1992. They have only one daughter, Rose (born 1993), and live in Brentwood, California. Her sister Toni was married to lyricist Bernie Taupin in the time of 1980s, and Russo appeared with her sister in the 1987 video for Taupin’s song “Citizen Jane”.

Russo has bipolar disorder and she is a Christian.

In junior high school, Rene was plagued with scoliosis and had to wear a full-torso brace. She was already a tall girl, which earned her the nickname “Jolly Green Giant” from her fellow classmates. She entered Burroughs High School, along with classmate Ron Howard, and even though her brace had been removed, she was still somewhat of a loner. Unable to deal with academics and the school social scene, Rene dropped out of school in the tenth grade. Since money was a big problem for her, she began to take a variety of part-time jobs over the next few like 18 months, many for the free benefits. She sold refreshments at a movie theater, where she could see free movies; worked as a restaurant hostess, where her meals were free; and also worked as a store cashier at Disneyland, where she had free admission to see different things. Sometimes she had two jobs at one time. Her last job, which was solely for the paycheck, was a full-time job at an eyeglass factory only to inspect contact lenses

In the year 1972, the 17-year-old was attending a Rolling Stones concert when she was approached by John Crosby, a scout and manager from International Creative Management. The guy told her she should be a model and had test photos made of her. Within a few months, Rene signed a contract with Ford Modeling Agency and within a year she had become a successful print and photographers model. Soon her modeling breakthrough came when she graced the cover of Vogue magazine. By 1975, she had appeared on numerous magazine covers, some of them were one of the most successful models in America, and was also starting to be seen in several TV commercials through the 1980s. She would define what a top fashion model was for years to come

In a snapshot of Laura Haddock:

  • 1954- Born in California, USA
  • 1989- Made her film debut with Major League
  • 1992- Married to screenwriter Dan Gilroy
  • 1993- Became mother of one daughter Rose
  • 2011- After 6 years break, she started her career again with Thor movie

Rene Russo is proud of her ‘strong and empowered’ daughter & her life

In Hollywood, where women are really expected to do everything possible to stay eternally young almost throughout the career, Rene Russo is an outlier. She has admitted in the past that she’s tried Botox, and had laser treatments, but says she won’t go any further when it comes to her face if its old too.

“I hate saying this — I think women should do what they want to do if it makes them feel better about themselves but I think if you do too much, you don’t look younger,” she says. “You look odd. I wouldn’t do any cutting or pulling. If you look older, that’s OK. But there are women who do it and they’re happy.”

Honestly, Rene Russo is very warm and very outspoken. Those traits were passed down to her daughter Rose Gilroy, 24, now a model. She graduated from Colgate University with a double major in psychology and political science. Also Russo says she didn’t have to work all that hard at raising an opinionated female. In fact, Rosie, as she calls her, often tells mom to speak up:

“(Rosie) is strong and empowered,” says Russo. “She’s taught me a few things. She’s strong. She has a good time. She likes what she does. She’s pretty amazing. She came out strong. I looked at her and thought, ‘You’re a strong spirit.’ She’ll give me advice, like, ‘Mom, why did you let them say that to you?’”

When she’s not working, which is fairly often, you’ll find Russo in her happy place. At home, with her husband, writer-director Dan Gilroy, puttering around her garden.

“Right now, if I’m presented a role that is a watered-down version of what I’ve done, it’s not much of a challenge,” she says.

To be honest, co-starring in “Just Getting Started,” a comedic caper also starring Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones, was a no-brainer. It was an easy, convenient shoot. And for her, quality of life, and taking good care of herself, matters the most out of anything.

“I don’t go in the sun. I don’t smoke. I’m not a drinker. If I have a drink, I have a tequila drink. I fall asleep on wine. I have a glass and fall asleep,” she says.

It must be a bit strange for Russo to be promoting a comedy during such a fraught time in her industry, when numerous powerful men have been toppled by accusations of serial sexual harassment or improper behavior.

“I haven’t experienced anything myself personally. I would have none of it. I understand it has to be really, really hard,” says Russo.

But then again, says Russo, “I’m not in the spotlight. It’s probably great for your career. I’ve never gone after that. I’m not a Hollywood person. I don’t even know what that means. I have a different set of friends.”

“I grew up really fast in a rough neighborhood so it was different for me,” she says. Russo dropped out of high school before eventually pursuing a modeling career. “I grew up in a neighborhood where (sexual assault) was commonplace. I think half the kids in my neighborhood were sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. This is not a surprise to me.”

In between shooting such stylish thrillers as “The Thomas Crown Affair,” and the gritty nail-biter “Nightcrawler,” Russo leads a quiet life, by her own choice to enjoy her life as well.

Laura Haddock Career

Rene RussoBy her 30th birthday, demand for her began to dwindle, as it did for most models at that age. She did a few more commercials and then turned her back on modeling and show business for a while. Financially secure for the next several years, she began an intense period of literature and Christian theology. She also began to study theater and acting, and began appearing in theater roles at small regional theaters in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California.

Her television series debut started from 1987 with a supporting part on the short-lived TV series Sable (1987). In the year 1989 she made her motion picture debut with the part of the lead character’s girlfriend in the film Major League (1989). Her subsequent roles were that of girlfriends and supportive wives in a few films, until her breakthrough as an Internal Affairs detective in Lethal Weapon 3 (1992). Rene Russo has been praised for her ability to hold her own against her major male co-stars, who have included Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner and Pierce Brosnan. Two of her performances within the last few years have gotten her recognition as both a major dramatic actress and a talented character actress. One was as the mother of a kidnapped son in Ransom (1996). The other was as the cartoon femme fatale foreign spy in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000). Although the latter received mixed reviews among moviegoers and critics, Russo was praised for her performance of a role originally slated for Meryl Streep in 1992.

In 2002, Russo appeared with Tim Allen in the comedy film Big Trouble based on the novel by Dave Barry. Big Trouble was originally scheduled for release on September 21, 2001 and had a strong advertising push. The events of September 11 of that year cast a pall over the movie’s comedic smuggling of a nuclear device onto an airplane. Consequently, the film was pushed back until April 2002, and the promotion campaign was toned down almost to the point of abandonment. The film came quietly to American theaters and left quickly afterwards, receiving mixed reviews and being generally ignored by audiences, becoming a box office bomb. Earlier in the same year, she appeared with Robert De Niro in Showtime. She starred in and produced Two for the Money, a 2005 film starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey. In 2005, Russo starred with Dennis Quaid in the family comedy film Yours, Mine and Ours. The film received negative reviews from critics, but was a success at the box office, grossing $72,028,752 worldwide. In 2011, six years after resting from acting, she appeared in the superhero film Thor as Frigga, the mother of the titular hero. Most of her scenes were removed in editing. She said that “Anthony Hopkins and I were each cut out”. She reprised the role in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World in which she received more screen time.

In 2014, Russo appeared with Jake Gyllenhaal in the critically acclaimed crime thriller film Nightcrawler (is a 2014 American thriller film written and directed by Dan Gilroy. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Louis Bloom, a stringer who records violent events late at night in Los Angeles and sells the footage to a local television news station. Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed, and Bill Paxton also star. A common theme in the film is the symbiotic relationship between unethical journalism and consumer demand), written and directed by her husband Dan Gilroy. A film critic from Indiewire in his review said: “Russo is an integral part of the narrative and she gives as good as she gets. The role is easily her finest in several years and the rich material uncorks a wealth of inventiveness from the actress. There’s not a lot of imaginatively drawn roles for aging women, but Russo sinks her teeth into the role of a cold blooded vampiress protective of her own uncertain hold in the newsroom.” She also had the leading role in the independent film Frank and Cindy. She also co-starred with Robert De Niro in the 2015 comedy The Intern directed by Nancy Meyers. In 2017, she starred with Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones in comedy film Just Getting Started (is a 2017 American action comedy film directed and written by Ron Shelton, his first feature film since Hollywood Homicide (2003). The film stars Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones, Rene Russo, and Elizabeth Ashley; it also marks the final film appearance of Glenne Headly, who died in June 2017. The plot follows an ex-FBI agent who must put aside his personal feud with a former mob lawyer at a retirement home when the mafia comes to kill the pair).

Why she took six years break from Hollywood?

Back in 2005, Russo took a big break from acting, after starring in family comedy Yours, Mine and Ours alongside Dennis Quaid. The main reason for Russo’s sabbatical was the same as most who decide to take time off from work, she’d “had enough” of acting, and was starting to burn out. As she told on of the magazine in the year 2014:

“I worked constantly. I didn’t really ever take a break. I just think I hit a wall. I mean, even emotionally. I was not in any shape to do a movie. I was depressed. It was not a good time for me. One of the reasons I hit the wall is I really wanted to do other things, but I didn’t know how to get off the treadmill.”

She returned to the scene six years later for a role in Disney’s Marvel movie Thor in 2011, playing the titular character’s mother, the ancient goddess Frigga. She returned to this role again in 2013 for the sequel of the movie Thor: The Dark World, and, at the time of writing, has appeared in four other movies since 2011.

Part of the reason Russo decided to end her self-imposed acting hiatus and return to the fold was due to meeting fans who told her that they missed seeing her in movies, as she told that magazines News.

What She did then?

So what does a movie star do when she takes some a long time off from work? If she’s Rene Russo, that downtime involves watching a lot of documentaries. Partly due to dropping out of school at such a young age, Russo admitted to Buzzfeed that she had “huge holes in [her] education”. Her solution to this problem was to watch tons of documentaries on world history and other subjects that interested her.

Russo then went on to work for the Department of Water and Power in L.A., in an effort to revitalize native gardens in the midst of a California drought. And after that? She started her own business: White Cow Dairy, a milk and yogurt producer located in Upstate New York. As she told Buzzfeed News in 2014, Russo runs the dairy and its 40 cows with a farmer friend. And she much prefers milking cows to “getting up and having makeup on my face at 4:30 in the morning.”

Also collaborating with husband

Russo has been married to screenwriter and director Dan Gilroy since March 1992. The two met on the set of Gilroy-penned movie Freejack and were married soon after, with Gilroy moving to Los Angeles to be with her, where he has lived and worked ever since.

The couple turned out to be regular collaborators, most notably with the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated Nightcrawler in 2014. Russo co-starred in Nightcrawler alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, which was written and directed by Gilroy.

Indeed, Russo tells Buzzfeed that the part of Nina in Nightcrawler was penned specifically for her by her husband, a role with which she swept the board, gaining numerous award nominations for Best Supporting Actress — including a BAFTA nod — and three wins for her role, from the AARP, the San Diego Film Critics, and the Saturn Awards.


Her Film Appearances:

  • 1989 – Major League as Lynn Wells
  • 1990 – Mr. Destiny as Cindy Jo Bumpers / Burrows
  • 1991 – One Good Cop as RIta Lewis
  • 1992 – Freejack as Julie Redlund
  • 1992 – Lethal Weapon 3 as LAPD Sgt.Lorna Cole
  • 1993 – In the Line of Fire as Secret Service Agent Lilly Raines
  • 1994 – Major League 2 as Lynn Wells
  • 1995 – Outbreak as Robby Keough
  • 1995 – Get Shorty as Karen Flores
  • 1996 – Tin Cup as Dr. Molly Griswold
  • 1996 – Ransom as Kate Mullen
  • 1997 – Buddy as Mrs. Gertrude “Trudy” Lintz
  • 1998 – Lethal Weapon 4 as Lorna Cole-Riggs
  • 1999 – The Thomas Crown Affair as Catherine Olds Banning
  • 2000 – The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
  • 2002 – Showtime as Chase Renzi
  • 2002 – Big Trouble as Anna Herk
  • 2005 – Two for the Money as Toni Morrow
  • 2005 – Yours, Mine and Ours as Helen North
  • 2011 – Thor as Frigga
  • 2013 –  Thor: The Dark World as Frigga
  • 2014 – Night Crawler as Nina Romina
  • 2015 – Frank and Cindy as Cindy
  • 2015 – The Intern as Fiona
  • 2017 – Just Getting Started as Suzie Quinces
  • 2018 – Velvet Buzzsaw as Rhodora Haze

Her TV Appearances:

  • 1987 – 1998 – Sable as Eden Kendell for the 7 Episodes

Awards and Nominations of Rene Russo:

  • 1992 – Nominated for Saturn Award as Best Supporting Actress for Freejack
  • 1992 – Nominated for  MTV Movie Award as Best Kiss (shared with Mel Gibson)   for the Lethal Weapon 3
  • 1995- Nominated Screen Actors Guild Award as Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the Get Shorty
  • 1998- Won Broadcast Entertainment Award as Favorite Supporting Actress—Action/Adventure for the Lethal Weapon 4
  • 1999 – Nominated Broadcast Entertainment Award as Favorite Actress—Drama/Romance for The Thomas Crown Affair
  • 2000 – Nominated Saturn Award as Best Supporting Actress for The Adventures of Rocky
  • 2000 – Nominated Razzie Award as Worst Supporting Actress for The Adventures of Rocky
  • 2000 – Nominated Stinker Award as Worst Supporting Actress for The Adventures of Rocky
  • 2014 – Won AARP Award as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Won San Diego Film Critics Society Award as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Won Saturn Award as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated BAFTA Award as Best Actress in a Supporting Role for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated Denver Film Critics Society Award as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated Detroit Film Critics Society Award as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award as Best Supporting Actress(2nd place) for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated National Society of Film Critics Award as Best Supporting Actress (3rd place) for the Nightcrawler
  • 2014 – Nominated—Village Voice Film Poll as Best Supporting Actress for the Nightcrawler

Trivia of Rene Russo

  • Has seven siblings on her father’s side. The late one-time auto-mechanic-turned-sculptor Nino Russo had at least six other children besides Rene. They are: Jim, January Debra, Toni Lynn, David, and Anthony John Russo.
  • She met her husband, Dan Gilroy, while they were both working on the film Freejack (1992). Gilroy as screenwriter had turned down an offer to rewrite it, and Rene had turned down an offer to star in it. Both changed their minds, met on the set, and were soon married.
  • She is allergic to sesame.
  • Gave birth, at her age 39, to her only child, daughter Rose Gilroy (Rose Jean Gilroy), on August 31, 1993. Child’s father is her husband, Dan Gilroy.
  • Was originally cast as Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever (1995) but, when Michael Keaton was replaced by Val Kilmer, she was replaced with Nicole Kidman because the producers felt that she was too old to be a convincing love interest for Kilmer.
  • Daughter-in-law of Frank D. Gilroy.
  • Sister-in-law of John Gilroy and Tony Gilroy.
  • A huge Red Sox fan, she often attends games at Fenway Park and road games when the team is in California. She attended their post World Series victory party at the team hotel in Colorado after game 4 in 2007.
  • Had scoliosis in junior high school and wore a full-torso brace.
  • Lives in Los Angeles and Toluca Lake, California.
  • Aunt-in-law of Carolyn Gilroy and Sam Gilroy.
  • Ex-sister-in-law of Bernie Taupin.
  • Her father was of Italian descent. Her maternal grandfather was also of Italian descent, while her maternal grandmother had German, English, and Irish ancestry.
  • Has suffered from bipolar disorder since she was a young girl.

Some of personal quotes from Rene Russo

  • On her nude scenes in The Thomas Crown Affair (1999): “It never really dawned on me that, gee, I’m 45 and I’m taking off my clothes. For me it was a matter of living inside the character.”
  • All of us are broken – some of us more than others. It might be a nurturing, mother thing. I do think there is that, “Oh my God, you’re hurting. I know what that feels like and I’d like to be there and support you in that.”
  • That’s a really good question – what is it like living with a writer? I guess it depends on the writer. You know what? They live in a fantasy world a lot of the time. My husband lives in a fantasy world. It’s really hard for him to be in the world, because if his head isn’t in a script, I guess to write what he does, he has to sort of twist the world a little bit and live in a fantasy. And I think he doesn’t live in reality – in my reality, let’s put it that way. He’s much more “Everything’s fine fine fine and everything’s good good good,” and I’m like, “What, are you nuts? Everything’s rotten and sucks.”
  • Beauty and youth can stay inside, but it doesn’t outside.
  • [regarding the table read for The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000)] “I walked in the door and there was June Foray. She did the original voice of Natasha and I thought, ‘Oh good, they have June here to make me look like an idiot.’ I asked June if she could read a couple of lines for me, and she did, she was so gracious. So I got the accent down, the Russian accent, for which I lowered my voice.”

Managing her bipolar disorder

In the year of 2014, Rene Russo revealed on The Queen Latifah Show that she suffers from bipolar disorder, which she views as something that she really had to push through to get to where she is today. This was the first time Russo publicly revealed her struggles with the disorder, surprising everyone on set — including herself as well.

She appeared a few weeks later on Good Morning America (via ABC News), where she opened up a little bit further regarding her diagnosis, revealing that the bipolar medication she was taking really helps to manage her disorder. And though she doesn’t think that her confession was particularly outspoken or brave, she does want to open up the dialogue about her mental health. As she told Good Morning America: “What people don’t need is to feel bad about themselves because they like to go on medication”.

On The Queen Latifah Show she reached out to viewers directly, telling other people suffering: “You will make it through.” And in doing so, she became that voice of inspiration we needed to hear everyday.

She’s taking care of herself, & the beauty too

Russo still has that incredible Hollywood charming beauty about her in her 60s. But unlike a lot of women in the public eye, she isn’t shy about how she maintains her youthful look.

Talking to People following the release of Nightcrawler in 2014, Russo reveals that she’s dabbled in laser skin treatments, which she loves, but also believes that she shouldn’t go overboard with the cosmetic procedures. Because, as she tells Today, taking good care of herself is what matters most to her as she always like to be young from inside and outside of the body.

She keeps up a regular workout routine, exercising every day, but she doesn’t believe in working out “like a maniac.” These days she’s content with 20 minutes on the bike and some light weights, as well as following the basic tenets of not smoking, not drinking too much, and avoiding the sun. Smart woman. Like the any Hollywood star should be..

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Secrets of Rene Russo! Do You Know?
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