Renee Zellweger "succeeded" in avoiding widespread speculation about her appearance.
The 46-year-old actress caused a stir when she walked the red carpet in October 2014 for the first time in years but insists she had no idea people were concerned she looked radically different until she was inundated with messages of support.
She told Entertainment Weekly magazine: "All that I know about is what friends and associates would send in texts and emails.
"They were sending support, which means that I must have needed it, and I prefer it that way.
"So when people come up to me to ask 'How did that feel?' I don't know, and I like it like that. I don't know.
"I know it sounds pretty unlikely that a person might be able to make herself, I guess, keep clear of those words or of that experience, but I have and it takes effort. But I have succeeded."
Despite not reading any of the coverage, the 'Bridget Jones's Baby' actress now has "less fear" because of the experience.
She added: "What good comes from knowing that something like that happened? Less fear. Sure."
At the time of the speculation, Renee insisted she was "glad" people thought she looked different because it reflected the fact she was happier.
She said: "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."