Hugh Grant says he thought Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones was ‘a stretch’
It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else playing Bridget Jones other than Renée Zellweger.
However, when the Hollywood star was cast, many wondered whether an American should play the role of the British character of Helen Fielding.
One of those people was Zellweger co-star Hugh Grant, who played Daniel Cleaver in the franchise, who hit theaters 20 years ago this week.
The British actor once confessed to thinking his casting in the role was “a stretch.”
In a documentary dedicated to the film, released in 2020, Grant recalled: “There has been quite a scandal about why isn’t she a British actress? I didn’t know Renée Zellweger, and a Texan playing a British character, that seemed exaggerated to me.
He was ultimately won over by his performance in the comedy which grossed $ 281.9million (£ 209.8million) worldwide.
Grant says his first attempt was “good”, but looked like Princess Margaret, whom he called “surprising”.
“We kind of told her, well, she thought she better let him go a bit,” he continued.
“Then she came and it was Princess Margaret who had had a stroke. But a week later it was perfect.
Being Bridget Jones is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.
The two actors returned for the sequel, The edge of reason, in 2004, with Zellweger reprising the role in 2016 Bridget Jones Baby.
Grant recently declared that Zellweger was “one of the few actresses [he] didn’t fall out with “and, earlier this year, made a joke of Bridget Jones at the Baftas after her former co-star won Best Actress for Judy.