Hugh Grant Mocks Renée Zellweger’s First Attempt At Bridget Jones’ British Accent

Katie O'Malley
·3-min read


It might be hard to imagine anyone other than Renée Zellweger playing Bridget Jones in the hit British film franchise of the same name, but according to Hugh Grant that wasn’t always the case.

On Monday, the cast of the franchise – which began in 2000 with the film Bridget Jones’s Diary – starred in a documentary titled Being Bridget Jones for the BBC, which involved the likes of Zellweger, Grant and Colin Firth discussing author Helen Fielding’s famous character.

Prior to the film’s release at the turn of the millennium, Grant – who played Lothario Daniel Cleaver – noted that there was doubt surrounding the casting of Zellweger in the early days.

‘There was a whole scandal about why isn’t this a British actress?’ he noted, adding: ‘I didn’t know Renée Zellweger, and a Texan playing a British character, it did seem like a stretch.’

Photo credit: Spencer Platt - Getty Images
Photo credit: Spencer Platt - Getty Images

The actor continued, saying that while the Oscar winner’s first attempt at a British accent was ‘good’, he also found it ‘startling’, comparing it to that of the late Princess Margaret.

‘She was told to kind of, well she thought she better loosen it up a bit,’ he said of the actress’ initial accent, adding that a week later her British twang was ‘bang on’.

Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dave M. Benett - Getty Images

Following the airing of the documentary, the film's fans took to Twitter to share their joy at watching a show dedicated to their favourite leading lady.

‘I feel truly uplifted to have thrown my head back and absolutely laughed my head off, inadvertently spilling Tanqueray all over the carpet, whilst watching #HelenFielding and her chums #BeingBridgetJones thank you, [sic]’ wrote one user.

‘#BeingBridgetJones is everything I needed tonight, [sic]’ another added.

Earlier this year, Grant made a nod to his Bridget Jones days after his co-star won the Best Actress award at the 2020 Baftas.

After the American star collected her gong, Grant appeared on stage to introduce the next list of award nominees and joked: ‘First of all – well done, Jones. That indeed was a silly little dress.’

The joke references his joke in the film when he tells Jones: ‘Now, these are very silly little boots, Jones. And this is a very silly little dress.’

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

In need of more inspiration, thoughtful journalism and at-home beauty tips? Subscribe to ELLE's print magazine today! SUBSCRIBE HERE

You Might Also Like