One of the most cherished and respected actors in modern cinema, Renee Zellweger reprises the character she’s most identified with—the seminal British everywoman—in Universal Pictures’ romantic comedy Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Zellweger originated the world’s favorite singleton in the 2001 feature Bridget Jones’s Diary, and returned in the 2004 sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, both opposite Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. In the first installment of the franchise, she earned her first Oscar nomination, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award nominations, among others.
But once upon a time, before Bridget Jones the movie became such a global success, fans of the book were aghast when the role was given to an American actress with an incumbent southern drawl. Today, it is unthinkable to imagine anyone else playing Bridget. Quite simply, no Zellweger, no Bridget.
“Renée, more than anybody, knows what Bridget would say or do,” lauds producer Debra Hayward. “She has an innate understanding of this character, how she would behave, what she would say, what she wouldn’t say.”
“You simply can’t make Bridget without Renée!” exclaims director Sharon Maguire.
It was with Maguire that Zellweger first embarked on Bridget’s cinematic journey 15 years ago, and their coming together for the third installment felt like a fait accompli.
“Renée has always loved the role and she, like us, was keen to revisit Bridget,” explains Hayward. “It’s a brilliant evocation of a literary character. Together, Renée and Sharon have created that character on screen. It’s a complete collaboration.”
“I can’t imagine a more exciting collaboration than the one that Sharon and I have shared,” agrees Zellweger. In the time that the performer has been playing Bridget, she has developed a deep fondness for the character.
For Zellweger much of the joy of returning to the world of Bridget was in revisiting not only Bridget herself but the characters around her.
“I wanted to know what happened to all of her friends and what Mum and Dad are doing, as well as where Bridget would be at this time in her life.”
“Bridget Jones’s Baby” opens nationwide today and is distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.