Renée Zellweger calls working in Winnipeg ‘an exercise in survival’

Pop Goes The News — Eight years after Renée Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr. made the romantic comedy New In Town in Manitoba, they’re still complaining about the weather.

On an episode of Connick Jr.’s new syndicated daytime talk show Harry that aired Thursday, Zellweger shared memories of working in subzero conditions.

“Great idea, go film in Winnipeg, Canada in January and February,” she said. “It’s an exercise in survival more than filmmaking.

“You have to get a whole new skill set really fast before you go up to Winnipeg if you intend to see the spring.”

The pair shot the film in early 2008, with Winnipeg and the town of Selkirk standing in for Minnesota.

Connick Jr. and Zellweger recalled doing scenes on a frozen lake when it was -50ºF.

“That’s different, y’all. That’s different,” said Zellweger, a Texas native.

“Especially when you say y’all,” Connick Jr., who was born in Louisiana, interjected. “If y’all is in your vocabulary, you have never been in 50-below, I promise you.”

The two stars said how they came up with words to describe some of the effects of working in a Manitoba winter.

Zellweger told the audience about “lashcicles.”

“The wind starts blowing and your eyes will be tearing up and before it gets a chance to actually run, it freezes your top lashes to your bottom lashes,” she explained. “And when you’re acting opposite somebody and you’re trying to be in the moment and you’re watching that happen, it’s hilarious.”

Zellweger said she and her co-star also had to deal with what they called “nostricles.”

“You know when you’re really cold you can’t feel your lip? And your nose is running but you don’t know it?”

Connick Jr. recalled: “I kept losing it because even the beautiful Renée had nostricles.”

New In Town is about an executive (Zellweger) who moves from Miami Beach to New Ulm, Minnesota to oversee the closure of a manufacturing plant but ends up falling for the town and one of its locals (Connick Jr.).

The comedy earned only $29 million at the box office.

BELOW: Watch the trailer for 2009’s New In Town.