Bridget Jones, wanton sex goddess, is back in cinemas (v.v. exciting) with a whole new problem: whose baby is she having? But while she gets down to the (ahem) nitty gritty of that, we’re looking back at the first two films – Bridget Jones’s Diary and Edge of Reason. As, despite watching them over and over (and over) again, there’s still things we’re finding out/ or piecing together all these years later. Including…
1. Bridget Jones works at Pemberley Press in the first film – the same name as Mr Darcy’s estate in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, which itself is said to be based on Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
2. To get into the swing of working at a publishing house, Renee Zellweger did a stint at Picador in the UK, to learn about how things worked. Her colleagues had no idea she was there to prepare for a film role. She probably didn’t leave the same way as Bridget, though.
3. Zellweger had to retrain with accent coach Barbara Berkery for the sequel who said she was “appalled” at how “terribly” she’d “regressed”. “She thought, ‘How’s that possible? We’d worked so hard! How can you be so awful?'” Zellweger told Richard and Judy.
4. Zellweger had to be kept away from Hugh Grant at times because her accent kept getting too posh. Her cast mates joke there was “a brief Princess Margaret phase”. While she admits there was an hour or two of South African as well, the rest say the end result was “flawless”.
5. Gemma Jones was basically destined to play Mrs Jones. Not only was she born a Jones, she went on to have a relationship with director and actor Sebastian Graham-Jones.
6. A choreographer wanted to plan Daniel and Mark’s fight scenes, but the pair told them they wanted it to be much more “sissy”.
“No self respecting stunt man would put his name to any fight of ours anyway,” Firth joked. “We did it to our own sense of our masculinity.” The bit through the window was done by stunt actors, though, who they laugh were “two enormous stout middle-aged men wearing the most hilariously bad Hugh Grant and Colin Firth wigs.”
7. Hugh Grant and Colin Firth were born a day apart. The former September 9th 1960, the latter September 10 1960. Grant is pretty sure Firth is dying to play him in a film about his life.
8. Despite being the two male leads, the duo don’t actually spend much time on screen together, unless they’re fighting. “We do it in our spare time now,” Firth says.
9. Zellweger gave Hugh Grant some CDs at the end of the first shoot because he didn’t have any. She’s a big David Gray and Sheryl Crow fan.
10. OK, so it’s not going to win her any Olympic medals, but Zellweger did do her own skiing in the second film. “I wanted to, it was a lot of fun, I couldn’t wait to do it actually,” she told David Letterman.
11. Actress Emma Stone once live-texted Colin Firth the entire plot of Edge of Reason
Working together on Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight, Stone admitted: “I’ve seen Bridget Jones too many times now. I live-texted Colin the plot of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason a few months back while I was watching it. You were very upset with me, if I remember correctly. I talked him through what he was doing…”
“She’s talking through my back catalog via text!” Firth jokingly complained to Entertainment Weekly. “I might decide to not revisit stuff in the past, and then you get a good friend saying, ‘Oh, when you were doing this you had this and that expression on your face.'”
12. A wine expert blamed Bridget Jones’s Diary for a drop in consumption of Chardonnay.
“Chardonnay has made some of the world’s greatest wines, everyone appreciated it – until Bridget Jones,” Oz Clark told The Telegraph.
“Bridget Jones goes out on the pull, fails, goes back to her miserable bedsit, sits down, pours herself an enormous glass of Chardonnay, sits there with mascara running down her cheeks saying, ‘Dear diary, I’ve failed again, I’ve poured an enormous glass of Chardonnay and I’m going to put my head in the oven.’ Great marketing aid.”
Bridget Jones’s Baby is in cinemas now