Renée Zellweger, who played the titular diarist, had already turned in critically acclaimed performances in films including Jerry Maguire and Nurse Betty, but Bridget Jones’s Diary arguably made her a star. In 2002, the Thing About Pam actress earned her first Oscar nomination for the role, though she lost to Halle Berry.
Based on the novel of the same name by Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones’s Diary follows a single thirtysomething woman named Bridget as she tries to establish a romance with her coworker Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) while fending off her family’s attempts to set her up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Over the course of the film and its two sequels — Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby — Bridget deals with ups and downs in both her personal and professional life, all the while approaching things with a sense of dry British humor.
“What I love the most about Bridget is her vulnerability and her openness,” Zellweger told Vanity Fair about the character in September 2016. “I love that she makes it OK to be imperfect. That makes me root and cheer for her every time.”
Though the third film saw Bridget settle down with Mark after giving birth to their son, the Cold Mountain actress hasn’t ruled out the possibility of reprising the role in a fourth film. “I hope so,” she said in April 2022 when asked if she would ever return to the franchise.
“I love being in her shoes,” she added during an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “It makes me giggle every day on set, the choices that we get to make about just how awkward we can make her circumstances. It’s just so much fun.”
Firth, for his part, has said that his favorite part of playing Mark Darcy was getting to see Zellweger embody Bridget. “One of the greatest incentives for doing this again was to see Renée in the role again,” he told Collider in September 2016, explaining why he signed on for the third movie. “I enjoy playing Mr. Darcy, but I’m not hungry to play Mark Darcy again. It’s not an ambition. But it is something of an ambition to see Renée inhabit that role again, because I think it’s one of the best characters ever created.”
Keep scrolling for a look at where the cast of Bridget Jones’s Diary is now.