(updated 9/19/02)
To Latest News Read the continuing columns from The Telegraph Read about the supporting cast On location with Bridget What's on the soundtrack See publicity pics from the movie and links to the trailer Need to have inner poise, to the reviews New frock, scarry pants - am ready for red carpet A special from Horse and Hounds Goodies from the cutting room floor
'Do you remember Mark Darcy, darling? Malcolm and Elaine's son?  He's one of those super-dooper top-notch lawyers.  Divorced.  Elaine says he works all the time and he's terribly lonely.  I think he might be coming to Una's New Year's Day Turkey Curry Buffet, actually.'

I don't know why she didn't just come out with it and say, 'Darling, do shag Mark Darcy over the turkey curry, won't you?  He's very rich.'

Sunday 1 January

9st 3 (but post-Christmas), alcohol units 14 (but effectively covers 2 days as 4 hours of party was on New Year's Day), cigarettes 22, calories 5424.

11.45 p.m.  The rich, divorced-by-cruel wife Mark—quite tall—was standing with his back to the room, scrutinizing the contents of the Alconbury's bookshelves....It struck me as pretty ridiculous to be called Mr Darcy and to stand on your own looking snooty at a party. 

And then...  Hmmmmmm


The Edge of Reason news here

See Miramax's "For Your Consideration" ads for the film and for Colin as Best Actor here

Colin wins People's Choice for Best Actor at the European Film Awards

Check the Articles and Interviews page for great articles and live interview transcripts

Listen to Colin's interview and reading from the Department of Nothing on PBS' Fresh Air program  here   or read a transcript

Watch Colin on the Today Show  here

(The Observer, May 12, by Victoria Coren)

The Law Society has warned solicitors to 'keep clothes simple and businesslike; avoid pinstripes and polka dots'. I'm afraid there's something they've overlooked. They're out of touch; how surprising for a collective of elderly lawyers. Why are solicitors suddenly wearing pinstripes? Because they want to look like barristers. And not just any old barristers— specifically Colin Firth in Bridget Jones's Diary.

 A solicitor friend explains: 'Lawyers' lives have changed since that film. We are popular at parties. Women want us. As long as we look a bit like Firth, anyway. There's been a run on single-breasted chalkstripe at the tailors in Chancery Lane. Some of us are even buying wigs. Firth's barrister wears his collar and bands outside court, which was always considered very vulgar but it's de rigueur now. I'm thinking of writing a fashion column on the subject for Bar News.'

Amid all that talk about Renée Zellweger's weight increase, everyone overlooked the movie's sartorial effect on men. Andrew Davies is now working on the sequel, Edge Of Reason; if the Law Society wants lawyers back in three-piece flannel, they'd better write to the wardrobe department at Miramax.

That's One Way to Handle It
(Hollywood Digest,UPI, April 23, 2002, by Pat Nason)

Colin Firth—who starred with Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant in "Bridget Jones's Diary"— is actually a character in novelist Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones sequel, "The Edge of Reason," prompting the question: Who will play Firth in the movie version?

First things first, though. Firth isn't sure there will be an "Edge of Reason" movie.

"I can't really answer that question informatively," he told United Press International. "I don't know. As far as I'm concerned it's all rumor." Firth said there had been talk of a movie, but it has quieted down. "I just think it's probably a very difficult thing to mount," he said, "three actors who have to be available at the same time and a script that would have to be good enough."

But if there were a movie, who would play the character of Colin Firth?

"He won't be there," said Firth. "He'll become George Clooney or something."

Bridget becomes a journalist in "The Edge of Reason" and interviews Firth. Director Sharon Maguire—who had been talked about as a possible director for the project—reportedly said Firth would play himself, as well as reprise his role as Mark Darcy from "Bridget Jones's Diary."

Bridget Jones writers confident Zellweger will reprise role in sequel
(Ananova, February 14, 2002)

The writers of Bridget Jones's Diary say the sequel is "looking good."

Andrew Davies has already written two drafts of the second film, to be called Edge Of Reason. His writing partner Richard Curtis says he's pretty sure Renée Zellweger will star in the film. "She's an Oscar nominee for the first one. We're f***ed if she doesn't," Curtis told Ananova. Curtis and Davies refused to comment on whether Hugh Grant's role would be expanded in the sequel.

But speaking at the London Film Critics' Awards, where they won the Best British Screenwriters award, they did say they had a "very cunning" way around the dilemma they face over Colin Firth. In Helen Fielding's book, Bridget Jones interviews the real-life actor Firth, who is expected to star again in the film as Mark Darcy.

Firth and Bridget get nominated for Baftas 
(BBC News, January 28, 2002)

Colin Firth also received a nomination for best supporting actor for his role as the eligible Mr Darcy in Bridget Jones's Diary, based on the best-selling book by Helen Fielding. 

Bridget Jones's Diary received four nominations from Bafta today, including Best Supporting Actor for Colin Firth, Best Actress for Renée Zellweger, Outstanding British Film of the Year, and Best Adapted Screenplay for the team of Helen Fielding, Andrew Davies and Richard Curtis. In addition, the film has been shortlisted for the Orange Film of the Year, a category voted upon by the public.

The awards ceremony will be held on February 24 at the Odeon Leicester Square and be broadcast live on BBC1.

Colin Firth's reindeer jumper fetches £1,900 at auction
(Ananova, December 12, 2001)

The reindeer jumper worn by Colin Firth in Bridget Jones's Diary has been sold at auction for £1,900. The jumper was sold at Christie's in London as part of a fundraising event for the National Film and TV School.

Andrew Davies Adapting The Edge of Reason
(This Is London, November 6, 2001, by Jasper Rees)

But he is adapting The Edge of Reason, the second Bridget Jones. Davies is doing the first draft. So Renée Zellweger has signed up to put on several stone again? "She understandably doesn't want to put on all that weight again, so I'm trying to make fewer references to Bridget's weight."

Firth and Maguire Nominated for People's Choice - Euro film awards
(Screendaily, August 26, 2001, by Martin Blaney)

Colin Firth has been nominated for Best European Actor, along with Sharon Maguire in the category of Best European Director for this year's People's Choice Awards which will be presented during the European Film Awards in Berlin on December 1.

BJD Plays at 54th Locarno Film Fest

Colin Firth and Sharon Maguire attended the Locarno Film Festival for a showing of Bridget Jones's Diary on August 3 in the Piazza Grande, an outdoor venue, and took questions during a press conference.

The audio interview (linked to the Swiss radio site) has been transcribed and translated from the Italian.

More pictures here.

Brit Colin Firth is newest 'hottie'
(Chicago Sun-Times, May 4, 2001, by Cindy Pearlman)

Author Helen Fielding was thinking of Firth when she began writing her column "Bridget Jones's Diary" in the English newspaper, the Independent—before she penned her best-selling book. "I had just finished watching him in the miniseries 'Pride and Prejudice' (1995) and like most of London, I fell in love with his Mr. Darcy," the author recalls. "As a wink, I named Bridget's Mr. Right Mark Darcy. I described him to look like Colin Firth. In fact, part of me was worried that the actor would feel my descriptions were too close to him."

"It was a hall of mirrors thing for me. Very bizarre," he says. "My mother actually thought that it was real. She thought that the column was about me—Colin—and not a character." Speaking of which, he "wouldn't mind" reprising Darcy in the sequel. "Give me a good script, and I'll do it," he says. "I love Bridget."

As for his own love life...this is as far as we're going in relation to my personal life! I'm no open book. There will never be a 'Colin Firth's Diary!' "

Read complete article here

Firth's Mad Dash
(Empire, April 27, 2001)

A predominantly female crowd gathered in London last night for a special charity screening of Bridget Jones's Dairy which offered the promise of a foreword by Bridget star Colin Firth.

Appearing slightly late and frazzled, Firth explained to the crowd that he'd been delayed by extended filming on The Importance of Being Earnest; "I've just had a singularly exciting ride through London on the back of a motorcycle, to get me here in time."

The event was in aid of the charity Survival International which works to protect the rights of tribal peoples—a cause Firth has espoused for many years. But even Firth had problems linking the cause to the evening's main event; "Let me tell you I've got myself into knots trying to find any conceivable link between the plight of the bushmen of Botswana and Bridget Jones's Diary...take my word for it—it's not there."

Movie deal for Bridget sequel: Colin conundrum
(BBC News/Variety, April 25-26, 2001)

The production company responsible for the box office smash hit Bridget Jones's Diary has bought the film rights for its sequel. Working Title is reported [by Daily Variety's Jonathan Bing] to have paid in excess of $1m (£700,000) for the rights to The Edge Of Reason by Helen Fielding....Fielding's agent confirmed to BBC News Online that Working Title had bought the movie rights, but would not divulge the value of the deal.

However, one problem the sequel would face is the appearance of actor Colin Firth as both himself and as character Mark Darcy. In The Edge of Reason, Bridget Jones splits from barrister Darcy and sets out to become a journalist by interviewing actor Colin Firth.

Daily Variety reports that The Edge of Reason will not be adapted for the screen by Fielding, who wrote the screenplay for the current box-office hit.

"I wrote the part of Mark Darcy for Colin Firth and I do hope he will come back for a repeat of his lovely performance," Fielding told Daily Variety. "If he does, he will simply have to don a large beard and handlebar moustache and play himself."

Bridget Jones shapes up for sequel
(The Guardian, April 19, 2001)

The Bridget bandwagon starts here. Barely a week after the release of Bridget Jones's Diary in the US and the UK, the film's makers appear to be already preparing the ground for a sequel. British backers Working Title have acquired the rights to Helen Fielding's second Bridget novel Edge of Reason with a view to filming early next year. According to a report in Variety, they are currently negotiating a deal for Fielding to again collaborate on the screenplay.

Working Title's plans have reportedly been accelerated by the phenomenal success of their movie...The company's co-chairman Eric Fellner stresses that a sequel is still not a certainty, but adds: "When you've got numbers like this, you've got to think about it."

...Edge of Reason follows Bridget through more trials as she attempts to cling on to her relationship with human rights lawyer Mark Darcy (played by Colin Firth in the film). Daniel Cleaver (played by Hugh Grant) does not feature in the second book.

But the biggest possible movie obstacle is the availability of star Renée Zellweger. The Texan actress was rumoured to have found the first shoot an exhausting and uncomfortable experience, felt unhappy with having to gain 20lbs in weight and recently insisted that "no amount of money" would make her return to the role. But the Telegraph this week reports that Zellweger is prepared to make the sequel so long as she can remain in her svelte natural state. While the makers have apparently agreed to Zellwegger's condition, a skinny Bridget surely isn't the same.

Read complete article  here

Slim-line 'Bridget' finds sequel deal is weight off her mind
(Sunday Telegraph, April 16, 2001, by Oliver Poole)

Renée Zellweger, the American star of Bridget Jones's Diary, has agreed to appear in a sequel after being assured that she will not have to put on much extra weight again for the role. The normally svelte actress had originally refused to repeat the part of the neurotic thirtysomething single girl searching for love because it would require her to pile on the pounds. She had to put on two stone for the original film, which broke box office records when it opened on Friday across Britain and America.

Echoing her screen character's obsession with her figure, Zellweger, 32, had told Working Title, the film's British producers, that "no amount of money" could persuade her to appear in a sequel. She said: "I was overweight for eight months and I don't want to go through that experience again."

However, Zellweger was persuaded to change her mind when told that she would not have to put on weight to play the part and plans for a sequel are now well advanced. Bridget Jones's Diary is on course to be the most successful British-made film ever after taking £1.7 million in the UK on its opening night, double the amount that Notting Hill, the record holder, took when it opened.

The film is expected to take £6 million in its first weekend, £1.8 million more than Notting Hill. In America it took £1.2 million on Friday night, beaten only by Spy Kids, the Easter holiday children's movie....

Working Title has been so delighted by the reviews of the film, and its popularity at pre-opening screenings, that it is determined to go ahead with the sequel, based on Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, the second of the books by Helen Fielding. The London-based company, which also produced Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, is expected to start filming next year.

A casting director working on the project said Zellweger "needs to be on board as it would be difficult to introduce a new Bridget". He said: "However, it appears possible to persuade Renee to appear again if she is not made to put on as many pounds. Bridget is thinner in the second book as she spends time in a Thai jail after being imprisoned for drug trafficking."

It is hoped that the original film's other stars will also appear in the sequel. Zellweger's publicist, Leslie Sloane, confirmed that the actress was no longer ruling herself out of the new film. A spokesman for Miss Fielding, who co-wrote the film with Richard Curtis, the writer of Notting Hill, said that she would be working on the second script.

Eric Fellner, the producer of Bridget Jones and co-chairman of Working Title, said that he would be sitting down on Tuesday to plan in detail how to film the sequel starring Zellweger. It had already been discussed with the cast and the company had taken out the option to film the second book.

Read complete article here

Location, Location
(The Mail on Sunday, April 1, 2001, by Susan Broom)

Smashing Time Had by All The fight scene between Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) and Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant)—to the tune of Geri Halliwell’s cover of the Weather Girls’ It’s Raining Men—is a comic departure from the book (in which the men never meet). The two leave Jones’s birthday party for a brawl which takes them into the restaurant where Darcy becomes covered in taramasalata. The fight ends when the pair, played by stuntmen, exit the restaurant via the largest plastic window ever made. While the stunt went off without a hitch, the ‘glass’ proved less reliable. The first pane ordered by the art department shattered in transit and the second broke as it was being installed, disrupting the shoot.

Argh! Splat! Whack! Veteran stuntman Peter Brayham...choreographed the fight. He was particularly pleased with ‘the bit where Grant has Firth in a headlock as they attempt to trip each other up across the street—like schoolboys’. Brayham taught them popular film punches, such as the ‘straight-down-the-bottle’—which sends Grant reeling—and the ‘haymaker’, which floors him. Firth’s only complaint was that he stank of taramasalata. ‘I’ll never eat that stuff again,’ he vowed.

Boxing Clever According to stunt ace Brayham, both actors survived the experience relatively unscathed, though Grant was provided with a batsman’s box at one stage—‘in case Firth missed.’ ‘We did say at the time,” Brayham recalls, ‘that the box had got to be worth a few bob. We even considered selling it afterwards.’

Grant impressed him with his fitness, though he could not see why the women on the set swooned over Firth, who was, he says tactfully, ‘a little on the slim side’.

The New Hugh
(Talk Magazine, May 2001, by Holly Millea)

(Ask Maguire if she’s heard Grant’s Heather limerick and she replies nonchalantly, “Is that the one that has ‘[...]’ in it? He wanted to put that one in the boat scene. Colin Firth came up with the one we did use. It’s about a girl from Ealing.”) 

Maguire...had the actors write a diary in their character’s voice, to be read aloud at the first rehearsal. “Renée’s was as neurotic as Bridget’s, all about gaining weight,” she says. “Colin’s was all about his work and had no problem with commitment. Hugh’s character had come from divorced parents. It was basically an account of someone who had so much existential despair that the only way to overcome it was to live dangerously. He’s a predatory character with an innate sense of humor, which he uses as a weapon. It was a really fascinating insight. I knew that we’d chosen exactly the right people for the parts. Hugh will never be the ‘right’ one. He’ll always be dangerous.

The Innocent Ways of Renée Zellweger
(New York Times, April 8, 2001, by Molly Haskell)

Complete with English accent and an extra 20 pounds on her tiny frame, a slightly chunky Ms. Zellweger is about as disarmingly charming as anyone could be. As the desperate singleton Bridget Jones—klutzy, dressed in dowdy Marks and Spencer duds, a fashionista's nightmare—she nevertheless manages to win, convincingly, the hearts of two breathtakingly attractive men: Hugh Grant as the infamous Daniel, Bridget's womanizing boss, and Colin Firth as Mark Darcy (reprising his heartthrob role as Jane Austen's hero in the BBC "Pride and Prejudice.") Mr. Grant has dropped the faux-innocent mannerisms of recent films and is more appealing as a bit of a sleaze than he ever was as a male ingenue, while Mr. Firth manages, with one sexy glower, to summon up all those misogynistic heroes of 19th-century women's novels who are brought back to life by the sheer spunk of an unconventional heroine—in this case, a girl with a heart on her sleeve and knickers on her bottom.

What's extraordinary is how deftly the movie's writers...have adapted the book and its heroine to the softer and more human contours of Renée Zellweger, thereby radically changing its tone....

But Renée Zellweger is another kind of heroine altogether. She removes the sting of the book's portrait of generic women whose only purpose in life is to marry despite ghastly images of wedlock, and makes Bridget entirely, delightfully particular. We're not forced to endure every fluctuation of Bridget's weight, and Ms. Zellweger brings      such sweet earnestness to the character's career flubs that they seem more like triumphs than defeats....

As Bridget, Ms. Zellweger is not a pushover by any means, or entirely lovable: she guzzles chardonnay, gossips, is a little too "needy" in current psycho-parlance and can be as tart-tongued as any Austen heroine. One look at Mark Darcy's reindeer sweater when they first meet and her Bridget is as withering as any fashion snob, as prone to prejudice as Austen's Elizabeth Bennet.

Yet the real joke is that her own get-up is at least as ridiculous, and the oversize bloomers she wears, grotesquely revealed in her tryst with Daniel, are a ghastly (and wonderful) joke on the whole array of spicy apparel—thongs, bikinis, lacy come-hithers, push-up bras—endlessly promoted as aphrodisiac accoutrements. Like the woefully clad Bridget, Ms. Zellweger's genuineness seems to extend to an indifference to fashion; certainly she needn't have gained as much weight as she did to convey a plump and ungainly Bridget. With her small frame, the merest suggestion of avoirdupois would have done; yet she carries off the feat almost as a challenge....

Read complete article here   Here
Bridget Jones's Premiere
(Empire, April 5, 2001)

The first big British film of the year premiered in London last night and quite an event it was. Half of Leicester Square was cordoned off as armfuls of celebrities piled into the Empire cinema for the British screen debut of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Bridget fans stood ten-deep behind the barriers outside ready to catch a glimpse of Helen Fielding’s neurotic heroine in the flesh. But the question on all of their minds was how will Renee Zellweger’s performance measure up?

“I thought she was absolutely perfect,” Colin Firth told Empire Online. “She introduced herself to me in a British accent and I never doubted it. Before we even began shooting she  was condemned with the unpardonable crime of not being English. But I think she’ll be forgiven because she’s answered it with a great performance. If acting’s about anything then surely it’s about playing something that you’re actually not.”

Along with Hugh Grant, Firth plays one of  Bridget’s two love-interests in the film and was greeted by much swooning of female fans as he swept aloofly into the cinema. Firth was happy to reminisce over his favourite part of the film, the fist-fight with Hugh Grant. “Hugh and I had a long period of bonding during our martial arts training for that fight. It probably reminded you all a bit of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The only difference being that they used treetops and we used a Greek restaurant.

Grant was also remembered the scene with a certain fondness, “I’ve been wanting to kick the shit out of Colin Firth for some years and I finally got to do it,” he told us. When asked who had, indeed, proved the better man Grant adopted a confident stance, “Well let me put it this way. Colin did marvellously in a fight scene for somebody who’s clearly never been in a fight before. I on the other hand, had to hold back because, as you know, I used to be in the SAS and I was trained. I had  to leave the SAS because I couldn’t wear the balaclava helmets, I can’t wear wool against my skin, I get a terrible rash.”

Following on the heels of her two beaus was the woman herself, Renee Zellweger, looking decidedly more at ease than her bumbling on-screen persona. Despite her cool demeanour, Zellweger confessed to being terrified by how the British were going to react to her performance. “I feel a huge responsibility to Helen Fielding, because it’s not my character, I didn’t come up with it. It’s something she created from her life experience and I don’t want to be the one to screw it up. Enthusing about the role, Zellweger squealed with delight over her chance to try on the British accent and admitted to having adopted a number of quaint Anglicisms“I asked a friend in the States if I could use her ‘loo’ the other day. She had no idea what I was talking about!” 

Stephen Fry, Thora Birch, Stephen Daldry and Toni Collette were among the stars  who turned out for the event along with cast members James Callis, Gemma Jones, Sally Phillips and Celia Imrie, screenwriter Richard Curtis and director Sharon Maguire. Salman Rushdie, who has a small cameo in the film, was also present. “I had a great time,” said Rushdie. “My only regret is there was one take of one scene where Hugh Grant kissed me on the lips and they cut it out. So my first screen kiss ends up on the cutting room floor.”

Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding was the last to arrive. “I think Renee’s done a great job, she’s got a better English accent than me,” she told us. “It was very important that she put on the weight for the role, she still looks great but she is a normal- shaped woman in this film and that is really, really important. I think 'it’s very sporting for a Hollywood actress to put on all that weight and then allow herself to be filmed in her knickers.”

More pictures from both premieres here
Are you a Colin or a Hugh girl?
(This is London, March 26, 2001, by Zoe Williams)

When you emerge blinking and dewy-eyed from the film of Bridget Jones's Diary, there will be one question on your lips and one question only.

No, it will not be: "How many omelettes did Renée Zellweger have to eat again, before her face got so fat that her features look as if they're burrowing into her face like baby moles?" (that was unsisterly, but honestly, no Bridget Jones aficionado expected her to be tubby). And no, it will not be: "Why are they all so posh, all of a sudden?" nor "What's happened to the timeshare intrigue at the end, which I never fully understood in the first place?"

It will be "Hugh or Colin? Hmmm, Colin or Hugh? Well, Colin's so tasty. But Hugh in those glasses, oh God! But then, Colin at the end, oh, oh, oh ..." and so on, ad nauseam.

It is an almost impossible quandary. Hugh Grant, as a cad and a bounder, achieves a level of devilish appeal, irresistible anyway, but all the more so for being shockingly unexpected.

But then Colin Firth, as the brooding good guy, seems to epitomise heroism and, shucks, all that is eternally good about humanity in a way that he hasn't since ... well, the last time he played the brooding good guy.

Under normal circumstances, the choice would be simple, since the good guy is always the humourless one with the small todger, and the bad guy is the one who does jokes and sex. Thus, you choose the bad one till the time comes when you need a staying-put one, and then you choose the good one and watch more telly. This being a female fantasy, however, the good guy has a sense of humour, thus muddying the waters, and neither the bad guy nor the good show their todgers at all. You just have to take as read that they're both hung like donkeys, on the basis that otherwise the dilemma would never have occurred, it would have been all eenie-meenie-minee-good- grief!-where-have-you-been-hiding-that?

How to decide, then? First, the glory of their physiques. They both look towering and manly all the way through, which I believe has more to do with Zellweger being five foot two than it has to do with new developments in growth hormones for English actors.

Hugh steals the march with his utterly hairless yet unendingly masculine upper arms, which you get to look at for—no, not 12 seconds, people, not 22 seconds ... 32 seconds!—while he falls into a pond and gets back out again. This scene also presents the opportunity to look at a) his torso in wet shirt b) all other aspects of his upper body not covered by the word "torso" and c) his lovely, besunglassed face. I cannot stress strongly enough just what an opportunity this is.

Colin, on the other hand, does not fall into a lake at any point, in stark contrast to his performance in Pride and Prejudice, whereby he landed this role in the first place (in a cunning, meta, art 'n' life style that hurts my head when I try to explain it). He is very understated, sartorially speaking, apart from the time when he wears the Rudolph Christmas jumper (readers will understand) and, frankly, fouls up the entire opening sequence (the whole point, il direttore, is that in the Christmas pullover he's meant to be unattractive, thus adding to Bridget's amazement when she falls for him. In this film, I must point out, he is attractive at all times. Even in the jumper, he is raw sex in a jumper). 

You've probably guessed the conclusion to all this. That's right, they are both peerlessly beautiful. They are created of every creatures' best, they simply cannot be bettered. Until, that is, the other arrives on the screen, and tips the balance wholly the other way. Luckily, they only occupy the same scene once or twice, for you can imagine what confusion it causes amid the audience.

Total aesthetic parity being the case, this particular match needs a personality-based decider. Hugh Grant, without the sweetness, loses the floppiness which for so long has misled so many of us into calling him a "floppy arse". His flinty streak, the lascivious self-interest of his action, functions as a perfect counterpoint to the anodyne, public-school pleasantness of his demeanour.

Colin Firth, on the other hand, couldn't be horrid, since he already has what I like to know as a "cold chin". That's a chin which juts, in an intolerant and cold fashion. His aching, almost painful charm comes from the juxtaposition of the chin and the passionate kindness lurking beneath (well, lurking beneath some part of his exterior, anyway—I'm not sure that it actually resides in his jaw).

Let us not forget, furthermore, that the naughty Hugh changes his spots, or at least some of them. Sparing not a thought for those of you who don't know what happens in the end (Why don't you? Where have you been? In a box?) he comes good. Not good enough for Bridge, but good enough for any viewer who was just about to fall for Colin but might yet change her mind.

And so, having examined the pair from every conceivable angle, the quandary remains. Hugh's cheek (literal and metaphorical) versus Colin's fathomless eyes? Colin's moral rectitude versus Hugh's voracious-sex face? Colin's pinstripe chic versus Hugh, oh Hugh, in a sky-blue shirt. That's wet. He falls in the river, you know. All reasonable girls will plump for Colin, what with his beauty and upstandingness. All wilful girls will fall for Hugh, on the unarguable basis that they ought rightly to be falling for Colin. The vast bulk of us, though, will fall for them both. We will never, ever be able to decide. This is, to say the very least, most unsettling.

To This is London  article
Zellweger signed up for Bridget 2
(Ananova, March 23, 2001)

Wot?!!!Renée Zellweger has been lined up to star in a sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary. The makers of the £25 million movie have been so thrilled by the reaction to the comedy at previews that want to make a follow up. Zellweger is understood to have been optioned for the sequel along with co-stars Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, who play the men in Bridget's life. A senior source at Miramax, which co-produced the film, told Ananova: " We think Americans will go in a big way for Bridget and we could be into a three-part series."

and if you ever saw it, you would even say it glowsFirth Among Equals
(Elle, April 2001, by Steve Friedman)

In the tradition of Anglo-hunk imports, Bridget Jones' heart throb Colin Firth has a few surprises up his sweater.

If you're a woman who's even a little like Bridget Jones...then when you lay eyes on Mark Darcy as portrayed by Colin Firth in the upcoming movie, you'll be as confounded as the chronically hopeful heroine herself.

Thick-haired, square-jawed, steely-eyed, Firth's Darcy thrums with alpha-male magnetism when Bridget (played by Renée Zellweger, with a plummily perfect English accent) spots him at a Christmas party. She gazes at his self-possessed mug, imagines romance, possibilities, love. She glances from his steady, kind eyes, to his strong neck, his broad shoulders, his . . .reindeer sweater?!? It's the first comic jolt in a performance that Firth molds into a slow, hilarious, oddly moving revelation. Mr. Right turns out to be Mr. Wrong, who turns out to be Mr. Not So Bad, who transmogrifies into Mr. This Can't Be Happening, who shape-shifts into . . .well, you'll see.

"The discovery we make," says Firth, "is that this pompous individual ends up having a generous and entirely sincere side. That's what warms the cockles of our hearts." For Firth (and Bridget, and us), the key word is "discovery." Darcy, Firth says, "takes himself very seriously and therefore like anyone else who takes himself very seriously, is full of comic potential." [...]

What's unlikely to remain concealed after Diary is the silent strength that has earned Firth hunky-icon status in his native country. In '95, he played another Darcy, in the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. "The nation's females went into a standstill," says the British Maguire. "Every woman in England fell in love with him." Herself included.

"He played that hero so well," she says. "A patriarchal fantasy figure in a way; aloof, but burning with fire." Maguire detected a similarly quiet, white-hot intensity in Firth's approach to Diary. "I didn't think those kinds of men existed in life," she says, "but Colin is it." [...]

Read complete article here

Bridget v.g. says preview audience
(Ananova, March 16, 2001)

Bridget Jones got the seal of approval at its preview at the Empire Leicester Square. And American actress Renée Zellweger, going British for the first time to play Helen Fielding's creation, was given the thumbs up. The £25 million movie, which also stars Hugh Grant and Colin Firth as the men in Bridget's life, is being released in the UK in April.

Film writer Ivan Waterman says of Zellweger: "A lot of people had doubts about whether she could pull it off. She is brilliant. She is just a great comedic talent."

Lawyer Tony Kennedy from South West London said: "It was a very funny movie and quite touching at times. They captured the essence of Fielding's work so those fans won't be disappointed."

Gabrielle pens Bridget Jones theme
(Worldpop, March 7, 2001)

Chart-topping singer/songwriter Gabrielle has written the theme to the forthcoming Bridget Jones movie....The song, titled Out Of Reach, is based on a moment in the book in which Bridget Jones tries and fails to tell someone she is in love with them. 'Everyone says, 'How did you write the song because usually you write about your own personal experiences?' but the answer is I was Bridget Jones when I was reading the book,' Gabrielle explained. 'When I wrote the song I was writing it from her perspective because that's who I was for that moment.'

Geri Halliwell has contributed a cover of It's Raining Men to the Bridget Jones movie while best friend Robbie Williams has penned two exclusive tracks, one titled Have You Met Miss Jones? The tracks will not be released as singles or B-sides and will therefore only be available on the Bridget Jones soundtrack.

Bridget Jones's album
(USA Today, March 2, 2001)

When Bridget Jones makes the leap from page to screen next month, she'll be joined by a bevy of pop stars. The soundtrack for the film version of Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding's international bestseller about a thirtysomething single woman with a decidedly wry perspective, will showcase other campy Brits and independent-minded women.

All songs on the Island Records soundtrack—due in stores April 3, 10 days before the movie's release—are either originals or previously unreleased cover versions. Shelby Lynne, the winner of this year's Grammy for best new artist, will introduce a pair of new tunes, Dreamsome and The Killing Kind, the album's first single. A double dose of Robbie Williams will include Frank Sinatra's Have You Met Miss Jones?, while erstwhile Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will deliver the Weather Girls chestnut It's Raining Men. Other featured artists include Lucinda Williams, Tracy Bonham, Texas, Gabrielle and Island newcomer Rosey.

The CD's multimedia bonus is an exclusive excerpt from the book's sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, as well as a "Bridget-O- Meter quiz" and interviews and discussions with Fielding.

Bridget Jones soundtrack set to be a hit
(Ananova, March 6, 2001)

The soundtrack to the forthcoming film adaptation of Helen Fielding's bestseller Bridget Jones's Diary features exclusive tracks from top artists.The film is tipped to be one of the biggest international movie hits of the year. Tracks include new material from Robbie Williams, and Geri Halliwell's cover of The Weather Girls' 1980s hit, It's Raining Men. There are also contributions from Alisha's Attic, Shelby Lynne and Gabrielle.

The soundtrack album is due for release on April 3 through Island Records. See Music Page.

Geri Fame-ous
(The Sun, March 5, 2001)

Here's Geri Halliwell giving it some belly in the video for her new single It's Raining Men. She goes totally Eighties for the film, donning tracksuit bottoms, biker jacket and fingerless gloves, as my exclusive snap shows. The promo pays tribute to the era of yuppies and dodgy haircuts through clothes, clichés and a storyline inspired by the popular Eighties TV show Fame. It even features a Leroy character plus an irritating troupe of actors dancing about on top of cars, echoing the series about a New York music and drama school.

The song, released next month, is a remake of the Weather Girls' 1984 hit and features in the movie Bridget Jones' Diary, also out soon.

A Bridget just far enough
(The Observer, March 4, 2001, by Gaby Wood)

Zellweger has mastered the nasal sing-song of a self-defeating Sloane. Some may not have imagined Bridget to be quite this posh...But, particularly in the voice-over, it does enhance the story's Jane Austen overtones, and Zellweger has impeccable comic timing. Her appalling speech as publicist to the inauspiciously titled book 'Kafka's Motorbike', and her stumbling reprise in front of Mark Darcy's family, will elicit a heartfelt cringe from the most stony-faced observers. Hugh Grant, her boss and 'fuckwit' lover Daniel Cleaver, plays a version of himself in which the familiar charm turns out to be entirely phoney. And in a twist of self-referential genius, Colin Firth plays Darcy, as an updated version of what we have come to see as himself—a Jane Austen hero, scripted once again by Andrew Davies. [...]

Nick James, editor of Sight and Sound, was impressed: 'It was much more interesting than I thought it was going to be, because no other country in the world would make a film about a woman who hates herself for being womanly in this way. I think the Helen Fielding/Richard Curtis crowd have changed self-deprecation into self-hatred. It used to be that the English gent abroad would always be self-deprecating, but there is a qualitative difference between that and self-hatred.'

A turning point comes in the film when Bridget confronts Mark Darcy with the words: 'You seem to go out of your way to make me feel like a complete idiot every time I see you. And you really needn't bother. Because I already feel like an idiot most of the time anyway.' At another point she is jilted, with perfect irony, by Daniel Cleaver, when he explains his attraction to another woman: 'Lara...being American...well, it's something to do with confidence.'

In fact, one of the central problems the filmmakers must have faced was how to portray self-loathing on screen. We are familiar with the Bridget Jones drill in print, but how do you deal with having to make her concrete? Is she really fat, for example, or does she just think of herself as fat? If she is not fat (as seems clear from the body weights given with each diary entry), then how can the way she feels about her body, an intangible self-doubt, be put across?

Richard Curtis thinks that portraying a state of mind is 'the most interesting thing about adapting a book. It surprised us how much we had to portray her loneliness, and stuff like that. The book is her talking herself out of it, whereas in the film we found we had to show it at times, and that was quite interesting —it did change it, even though I hope that all the good stuff from the book is still there. I think that probably is the secret of adapting: how to stand outside a character who you've got to know from the inside.' [...]

Emma Cochrane, editor of Empire magazine, thought Zellweger just 'looked like a normal English person'. She too was pleasantly surprised by the film. 'It's just really funny,' she says, 'This film doesn't alienate the guys like the book did. In fact, I was surprised that the guys I saw it with liked it so much. But hardcore fans might not be so keen, because a lot has been cut from the book.' Cochrane has a good feeling about the film's prospects: 'It's being released in the same slot as Four Weddings and Notting Hill—the pre-blockbuster season—so they obviously have a lot of confidence in it, and there's every reason to suppose it will do well'.

Read full article here

Me, Myself and Bridget Jones
(The Times, March 4, 2001, by Liz Jones)

The movie was directed by first-timer Sharon Maguire, who says her leading lady seemed completely devoid of Hollywood ego. "Renée was keen on showing us her cellulite and flab," she says. "She developed a flat-footed walk, her thighs grew so big." In the end, the waif got up to a curvy size 12 (but she had to resort to falsies for the part, as the "girls" refused to play ball). "I didn't look at my naked body in the shower, that's for sure." [...]

There is a memorable scene in the movie where Bridget is about to have sex with her boss, Daniel Cleaver (played by Hugh Grant), and he is trying to get past her giant bloomers. "Modesty went right out the window," says Zellweger. "I mean, at one point the camera is right up my skirt and the whole crew is looking at my big pants."

"He improvises all the time," she adds of her co-star. "In that scene, he was adding lines and making me laugh. I felt so big in that dress, and the poor man had to carry me across the room about 20 times. I'm sure he's still seeing a chiropractor to this day."

Most surprising of all is that her accent turns out to be flawless. "I just wanted to get it right," she says. "The book meant such a lot to so many women that I didn't want to be the one to bodge it up." [...]

Zellweger...says she finds British men funny and charming. Mind you, that is probably because, apart from Grant, the only other one she really got to know was Colin Firth, who plays Mark Darcy.

Her enthusiasm for all things British extends beyond men. As we finish talking, Geri Halliwell walks into the lobby of the hotel and, in the way famous people do when they have never met before, they kiss as if they were twins separated at birth. It turns out Halliwell has written a song for the film's soundtrack. "Oh my God," Zellweger screams, after the former Spice Girl has made her way to another table. "I've just met Ginger Spice. Bloody hell."

Read full article Here

Archer faces a cruel cut: Peer’s Bridget Jones cameo at risk
(PeopleNews, February 20, 2001) 

Will Jeffrey Archer be dropped from the forthcoming Bridget Jones film? The rogue peer was set to appear in a cameo role, playing himself at a literary drinks party and jovially chatting to novelist Salman Rushdie. However, in the wake of his latest bout of bad press (being photographed on a South African beach with a mystery blonde, while his long-suffering wife Mary was under the impression that he was working on his latest novel) it looks as though this honour may be withdrawn.

Sources at Working Title, the studio behind the adaptation of Helen Fielding’s bestselling book, whisper that Lord Archer no longer has the kind of image that they wish to associate with the production—starring Renée Zellweger —and say that his part may well be axed. Working Title say: ‘When you shoot a film you invariably shoot much more footage than you will end up using. There is absolutely no guarantee that Archer will appear in the final cut.’ If the scene is dropped, it seems unlikely that Jeffrey and Salman will ever jovially chat again.

The Outlook is bright for Spring
(The Telegraph, February 17, 2001)

We are in for a bumper spring of home-grown cinema success. Friends have managed to sneak into very private screenings this week of two long-awaited British films, the adaptations of the best-selling books Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Bridget Jones's Diary.

The friends are born-again cynics but pronounce that both—Captain Corelli...and Bridget Jones, with Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, is released on April 13th—are astonishingly good. Bridget Jones, made by Working Title...is especially refreshing. Though Bridget is a fashionable media-type-about-London, the film doesn't include one single shot of over-fashionable Notting Hill. Apparently there are even some laughs for men in what is going to be a film largely for female audiences.

"God bless Mother Nature, she's a single woman too..."

According to Dark Horizons, Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) has recorded a new version of the classic "It's Raining Men" for the film's soundtrack. George Michael is contributing a few songs too. Me? I'd rather hear the Weather Girls (Hallelujah!) and so can you on the music page.

For lyrics and sounds  Here

Bridget Not Swoony For Clooney
(Empire, February 13, 2001)

Bridget Jones has finished smoking her 7 daily cigarettes, her 15 scratchcards and pressing 1471 ten times—the film is finally finished. Writer Richard Curtis said "It's been a long process but it is finally over...the discussions, the rewrites, the postproduction."

He is excited about the finished product and said "We are all very pleased with the final cut, it's everything we hoped it would turn out to be." But there's bad news for fans of George Clooney, who have heard the rumours that he was to appear in a dream sequence. Curtis explained "I'm sorry for everyone hoping to catch a glimpse of George Clooney in a dreamy haze but that was never going to happen. He is a hunk, but we have our very own hunks in the film. Both Colin and Hugh are ample match."
So how did the rumour get started? "I don't know where that story came from but we never intended to put Renée through that disappointment. George was never approached—that whole dream thing was just a dream, dreamt up by some outsider."

However, there might be hope for the future, as Curtis added "But then maybe it will happen in Bridget Jones 2! No, we have no intention of doing a follow up—at least not yet!"

Gift of the Gab
(The Mirror, Feb 2 2001, Jessica Callan, Eva Simpson and Polly Graham)

She's been through her fair share of heartache and pain, so who better to provide the theme tune for the film version of Bridget Jones's Diary than Gabrielle? The pop diva's new single, Out Of Reach, has been chosen for the movie, which stars Renée Zellweger and is due out in April. Gabrielle tells us: "I looked for the part of the book that spoke to me personally. It's where she's betrayed by the person she thinks is the man of her dreams when he cheats on her. Betrayal—I know about that!"

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