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07 May

Renee Zellweger told not to gain weight for Bridget Jones’s Baby

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Will Bridget Jones finally make it down the aisle in the third film in the popular franchise? Renee Zellweger is back but Hugh Grant is absent from the new Bridget Jones movie. Photo: Supplied

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Bridget Jones’ main vices are Daniel Cleaver and diets.

In the books, and subsequent film versions which premiered in 2001 and 2004 respectively, each diary entry began with a snapshot of her calorie intake.

Her weight has been a common trope of the hapless heroine’s narrative that began in the ’90s via Helen Fielding’s column inThe Independent newspaper.

“8st 13, alcohol units 2 (excellent), cigarettes 7, calories 3100 (poor),” is how Jones was introduced to the world on February 28, 1995.

Fast forward 21 years and Jones, in the new film Bridget Jones’s Baby, has achieved her “ideal weight”.

“In her mind she had a weight issue. She didn’t have a weight issue it was just this imagined ideal that she was trying to achieve. What I love is that while she’s achieved it her life isn’t anymore together, she makes it OK for people to be imperfect and I think that’s what we connect to,” star Renee Zellweger said.

While Zellweger was looking forward to piling on the 13 kilograms again like she did for the first two instalments in the franchise, director Sharon Maguire wanted to put Jones’ body image issues to bed to focus on the issues impacting on her life as a 43-year-old pregnant single woman.

“It was a decision the director had made, she was hopeful that we could show that just by achieving this personal ideal of about how you’re supposed to be it doesn’t necessarily mean that your life is suddenly going to be perfect and make sense,” Zellweger said.

“I like the message in that.

“It was a matter of choosing how she has evolved so that the ways in which she hasn’t stand out more prominently. Because I think the ways she hasn’t changed are much more important.”

Zellweger too has evolved since she was cast in the breakout role 15 years ago. She disappeared from Hollywood for five years, returned to study, wrote scripts, travelled the world and fell in love after she had her four-month marriage to country singer Kenny Chesney annulled in 2005.

Bridget Jones’s Baby marks her return to the big screen and the versatile actor, who already conquered indie, period drama and musicals before her sabbatical, is hungry for more.

“It’s fun. You want to evolve. You want to keep going. I don’t want to keep doing the same thing, telling the same stories, I’m ready, let’s go. Human experience gives you character and it makes the characters that you are prepared to play much more interesting.”

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