Why Hugh Grant Initially Thought Casting Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones Was a "Stretch"

Mona Thomas
·1 min read
Why Hugh Grant Initially Thought Casting Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones Was a "Stretch"

Hugh Grant is shedding light on a bit of Bridget Jones's Diary drama.

In a new documentary, Being Bridget Jones, the Love Actually star shared why Renée Zellweger playing the lead role in the 2000 rom-com caused somewhat of a controversy.

"There was a whole scandal about why isn't this a British actress? I didn't know Renée Zellweger, and a Texan playing a British character, it did seem like a stretch," the 60-year-old actor explained. "She was told to kind of, well she thought she better loosen it up a bit."

Renée clearly took the advice, as Hugh later added, "Then she came in and it was Princess Margaret having had a stroke. But a week later it was a bang on." A bang on indeed, as both stars went on to reprise their characters in the 2004 sequel The Edge of Reason. Zellweger took on the franchise's third and final film, Bridget Jones's Baby, without her co-star in 2016.

All of Hugh Grant's Romantic Roles, Ranked

Back in October 2014, the British actor explained why he chose not to reprise his role as Daniel Cleaver.

Bridget Jones's Baby
Bridget Jones's Baby

"The book's excellent, by the way, but the script is completely different—or the script as I last saw it a few years ago," he explained in a Free Radio interview at the time. "And in the end, I decided not to do it. But I think they are going to go ahead and do it without Daniel."

The franchise has surely stood the test of time and so has Hugh's rom-com prowess as E! News ranked the films pretty high amongst his other romantic lead roles.