(CNN) -- Renee Zellweger thinks all of the conversation about her face is "silly."
The actress told People magazine in a statement that "I'm glad folks think I look different! I'm living a different, happy, more fulfilling life, and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows."
The chatter started after Zellweger appeared on the red carpet Monday at the Elle magazine 21st annual Women in Hollywood event. The actress looked so different from her "Jerry Maguire" and "Bridget Jones's Diary" days that some questioned whether it was really the same person.
"The Academy Award-nominated actress is virtually unrecognizable," MoviePilot.com wrote.
Gawker simply posted present and past photos of Zellweger with a note that read, "Since a few people are asking, allow us to be explicit: These are 100 percent photos of Renee Zellweger (the one you are thinking of -- the famous actress), from Getty photos, correctly identified as Renee Zellweger. Other than that, there is nothing remarkable about them."
The speculation about why she looked so different reached such a fevered pitch that Zellweger decided to face it. She said, "It seems the folks who come digging around for some nefarious truth which doesn't exist won't get off my porch until I answer the door."
Zellweger chalks her new look up to a healthier lifestyle.
"My friends say that I look peaceful. I am healthy," she said. "For a long time I wasn't doing such a good job with that. I took on a schedule that is not realistically sustainable and didn't allow for taking care of myself."
The attention reminded some people of "Dirty Dancing" star Jennifer Grey, who years ago surprised fans with a new look. But in Grey's case, she said, it was a result of two plastic surgeries on her nose that left her appearance more changed than she had anticipated.
The new look didn't help Grey's career.
"I decided to make fun of this, to make my fiasco become my reality," Grey told The Washington Post in 1999. "After all, it's not cancer, and it's absurd that just a nose job could wreak such havoc."
Despite her new look, Zellweger probably doesn't have to worry about it interfering with her career.
Though she hasn't been seen much since her last project in 2010, her latest film, "The Whole Truth," is due to hit theaters in 2015.