The secrets of Bridget Jones’s Diary: prejudices, controversies, and Renée Zellweger’s relationship with Hugh Grant

Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary
Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary

A quick look at the catalog of all streaming platforms indicates that Christmas-themed stories abound, so much so that it even seems like a genre in itself, although we agree that it does not qualify for an award category. What is not abundant are the end-of-the-year-themed movies, which won’t be a big problem for the viewer but it will be for this chronicler who must find a topic for the note. Searching and googling movies with this theme appears The diaryof Bridget Jones. Those who saw it will remember (spoiler alert) that the script shows the protagonist opening her diary on New Year’s Eve and writing resolutions that include reducing alcohol consumption, mastering the scales and finding love. That scene gives us the push to find out a little more about the shooting secrets.

In the year 2000, Renee Zellweger he was already a familiar face. In 1996 she had played the girlfriend of Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire and then to the one of Jim Carrey in Irene, me and my other self, a film that ended with the real romance of both actors. The Texan was looking for a script that would take her out of the art of acting herself when she received The diaryof Bridget Jonesan adaptation of the best seller by Helen Fielding.

The paper of bridget it scared him a bit. It wasn’t easy playing a single 30-year-old who drank and smoked too much and was obsessed with dating. Added to her doubts was a controversy. In England there was controversy when it was learned that Zellweger, a true Yankee, was chosen to play an arch-British as bridget.

The great “culprit” of this election was Sharon Maguire, the film’s director, who acknowledged that she suffered “nightmares and more than one sleepless night” for her choice. And that she resisted. Before hiring Renee she did several auditions with British artists. “But when she walked in on the test, I knew. She’s perfect, I told myself, but she’s Texan… what can we do? Zellweger swore to him: “I’m going to master the English accent and I’ll work very hard for it.” And she kept her promise.

Colin Firth and Hugh Grant support Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones's Diary
Colin Firth and Hugh Grant support Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary

The actress packed her bags, left Los Angeles, forgot about her native Texas and settled in London for three months, something that we agree does not seem very sacrificed. What was sacrificed is that she settled not as a tourist but as a student, she immersed herself in London culture and studied the language peculiarities. During the seven months that her stay lasted, she only spoke with an English accent. “It was all very technical. They wanted a specific accent, from a particular social class and from a particular area of ​​London,” she would recall herself to The New York Times.

To perfect her accent and see what it was like to work in real life what she would later do on screen, she landed an internship as an assistant at a London publishing house. Under the name of Bridget Cavendish, she worked so well and without being recognized that a colleague asked to be hired and she got along so well with her boss that she invited him to play an extra in one of the scenes in The Diary, something that the man accepted with amusement. .

A small test confirmed to Zellweger that his training was going very well. The day he met Hugh grant, a true born and bred Englishman, addressed him in his new accent and the actor found no reason to correct himself. The one who didn’t like this new accent was Carrey, her then boyfriend, who called her every other day from the United States and begged her to speak like the Texan he knew and not like the Londoner he didn’t know.

To be bridget, Zellweger also had to gain weight. “It was a character choice, a way of reflecting through the body a different style from mine and Bridget Jones He really has a different lifestyle ”, he explained about his body change. So this woman with a petite frame who in heels reaches 160 meters and weighs 48 kilos, she agreed to add 12 kilos to her body. The recipe for weight gain was simple and effective: three meals a day, lots of sweets, and no exercise.

Renée Zellweger met with a lot of resistance for Bridget Jones's Diary: many wondered why an American was playing a British woman
Renée Zellweger met with a lot of resistance for Bridget Jones’s Diary: many wondered why an American was playing a British woman

One rumor said that they offered her 90,000 dollars for every half kilo she gained weight and another that they paid her a million per kilo!, something that she was in charge of denying. “They discuss whether bridget she looks better fat or if she has to lose a little weight, they argue about that and it makes me very angry. (Robert) De Niro got fat for raging bull and they praised him for his devotion. I don’t know if it’s a question of sexism. But interpret to bridget It’s not a big sacrifice. The transformation is part of the prize. It is a privilege ”, he emphasized in the magazine Leopard.

However, the fact of learning to talk and eat like her character was not as complex as being impolite, somewhat gossipy and a bit evil, as the script demanded. Those who know the actress say that she is a very positive woman, who always sees the best in others and never speaks ill of others. They say that she always refers to her colleagues as “fantastic and great” and that she explains her success simply because “I have had the best luck in the world”. If that she is added to her eyes that squint every time she laughs and laughs all the time, there is no way not to agree that she is an adorable being.

If Zellweger succeeds in bridget be lovable, we must recognize the same of the two actors who seconded it. Only someone with the trade of Colin Firth achieves that Mark Darcythat boring, irritable and soulless lawyer, seems funny, friendly and even a sex symbol!

Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger in a scene from Bridget Jones's Diary
Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger in a scene from Bridget Jones’s Diary

In the opposite role is Hugh Grant. The actor came from playing sweet and awkwardly charming men and the idea of ​​putting himself in the shoes of a scoundrel was a “blessed relief and a catharsis.” However, the script did not quite convince him and he suggested that they add the team to Richard Curtiswith whom I had worked on those two romantic gems that are Four Weddings and a Funeral Y A place called Notting Hill. When Curtis joined the team, Grant signed him without hesitation.

One more fact. Curtis had been the boyfriend of Helen Fielding. He fell in love with her when he saw her performing in a college play and asked her out of it. They dated for a while until she left him and he acknowledged that it was because “he wasn’t good enough for her. She was the funniest girl in college.” He also told that the scene of bridget serving soup blue! It was not something that came from her imagination but something that happened to her when they were dating and she wanted to cook and she got a soup worthy of the village of the smurfs.

Love did not emerge on the set, but a great friendship did arise between Zellweger and Grant, so much so that he described her as “one of the few actresses with whom I have not had a fight.” When she finished the job, the bond continued. “We get along very well together and still exchange long emails. Yours, in particular, at least 70 pages each, interesting stuff but hard to decipher. She’s great,” the actor said. And that at the beginning he was suspicious that the blonde was the right one for the role. “I didn’t know Renée Zellweger and I thought, ‘A Texan playing a British character?’ He seemed forced, ”he said to humorously remember that the first“ Good ”of the actress sounded like the princess Anathe queen’s daughter Isabel.

When the film was released, many were delighted with this independent woman with a stable job, her own apartment and a group of unconditional friends and unclassifiable parents, but all of whom were always willing to lend a hand. When she goes to a family Christmas event dressed as a bunny Playboy Thinking it was a costume party, the protagonist turns out to be so charming that she transforms an embarrassing moment into a funny one.

bridget She is the heroine who avenged the “losers”, the one who knew that a man is never the solution but can be a great help and although one of her goals was to lose weight, she distanced herself from the anorexic model so imposed at the end of the 20th century. bridget it was a bit that Cinderella that she didn’t get a prince but a boyfriend who said he loved her “as she is” and that included her jokes like jumping in a parachute and falling into a pigsty or wearing Victorian-era underwear. bridget She wasn’t a fool who wanted to pass for intelligent, but an intelligent girl who -like most mortals- did stupid things. She was the one who dealt with parents who had attitudes like children and the one who, while she was waiting for a good love, hooked up with another phony, egotistical but charmingly irresistible.

The diaryof Bridget Jones
The diaryof Bridget Jones

Yes, many loved bridget, but it also received fierce criticism. The strongest focused on the fact that he was only looking for a partner. What bridget couldn’t speak, it was Renée who took it upon herself to make her point of view more than clear. “The film is the search to know who you are, to try to define yourself and to discover what makes you happy in life. I don’t think it’s a setback for women. bridget it really finds itself, by itself. She decides to be happy now and not in a projected myth of what the future might hold and what happiness could bring her. She blossoms, and if that’s not a positive feminist message, I don’t know what is.”

After all, and as cheesy as it may seem to us, who wouldn’t like to star in this dialogue with that person who let us down?

Daniel Cleaver: If I don’t do well with you, I won’t do well with anyone.

Bridget Jones: —This offer does not quite satisfy me. I’m not willing to put my whole life on the line for someone who isn’t sure. As you once said: I’m still looking for something more extraordinary.

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The secrets of Bridget Jones’s Diary: prejudices, controversies, and Renée Zellweger’s relationship with Hugh Grant

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