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Starring Colin Firth As
Mark Darcy, Esq.

Film Facts
Favorite Quotes
Plot Summary
Favorite Scenes/What to Watch out for
General Comments
Ratings
Trivia
Web Links
Comments By Colin
Credits
Comments About Colin
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Reviews

“I like you...just as you are.”

–Mark to Bridget after her tirade

 FILM FACTS

 

BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY is directed by Sharon Maguire from a screenplay by Helen Fielding and Richard Curtis based on Fielding's best-selling novel. The producers are Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Jonathan Cavendish (Working Title).

Distributed by: Universal Pictures/Studio Canal/Miramax Films

Cast 

Bridget Jones RENEE ZELLWEGER 
Mark Darcy COLIN FIRTH 
Daniel Cleaver HUGH GRANT 
Jude SHIRLEY HENDERSON 
Shazza SALLY PHILLIPS
Tom JAMES CALLIS
Bridget's Mum GEMMA JONES 
Una Alconbury CELIA IMRIE 
Uncle Geoffrey JAMES FAULKNER 
Bridget's Dad JIM BROADBENT 
Mrs Darcy CHARMIAN MAY 
Mr. Fitzherbert PAUL BROOKE 
Perpetua FELICITY MONTAGUE 

U.S. Release Date: 4/13/01 (wide) 
Running Length: 1:35 
MPAA Classification: R (Sex, profanity, violence) 

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PLOT SUMMARY

"This year will take total control of my life. Will make resolutions and keep them. Resolution number One - in order to mark triumphant year in which everything stops being shit - will keep a diary."  -Bridget Jones

Based on Helen Fielding's international best-seller Bridget Jones's Diary, Renee Zellweger (Nurse Betty, Jerry Maguire) stars in the title role as the dynamic, outrageously original Bridget Jones.

At the start of the New Year, 32 year-old "singleton" Bridget decides it's time to take control of her life and start keeping a diary. Now, the most provocative, erotic and hysterical book on her bedside table is the one she's writing. With a taste for adventure, and an opinion on every subject - from her circle of "smug-married" friends, to men, exercise, food, sex, and everything in between - she's turning the page on a whole new life.

Despite her efforts to get her act together, she finds herself caught between two men - a man who's too good to be true, Daniel Cleaver, played by Hugh Grant (Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill), and a man who's so wrong he could be right, Mark Darcy, played by Colin Firth (Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient). Meanwhile her new employers think she is nuts and her scatter-brained friends are absolutely no help what-so-ever.

As the hilarious dilemma unfolds, the irrepressible Bridget Jones finds herself the center of more attention than she could ever have wanted. (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films)

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GENERAL COMMENTS


  • In the end the script had a real comic truth to it," says [producer] Jonathan Cavendish. "Just as in the book, the movie presents people you recognize from your everyday life and it hits close to the bone." Especially, Cavendish notes, the funny bone. (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films)
  • Richard Curtis: My memory is that the film kept getting better with each draft, but as it did so, it was getting

  • better dramatically rather than necessarily getting funnier. There was a feeling that Helen's first draft had
    actually been the funniest, so it was my job to reconcile the drama and the comedy. (Total Film May 2001)
     
  • Cut from the same cloth as "Notting Hill" and "Four Weddings and a  Funeral", this much-anticipated film of Helen Fielding's bestseller about the year in the life of a single thirty-something woman delivers the goods in almost every department...Director Sharon Maguire treads a fine line between broad comedy and touching romance, while cameos from Salman Rushdie and Jeffrey Archer show just how much Fielding's creation has permeated popular culture. (BBC 4.4.2001 4 out of 5 stars)
  • "Bridget Jones's Diary," has become a word-of-mouth hit based on the strong audience response to nationwide sneak previews and opening weekend exit surveys which show that more than 80% of audiences rate the film as "excellent" or "very good" and more than 70% will "definitely recommend" "Bridget" to their friends. (Miramax press release)
  • Bridget" was also helped by widespread critical acclaim from top critics including Time ("Renee Zellweger shines and Hugh Grant is irresistible"),  Newsweek (tremendously funny"), Rolling Stone  ("A-List all the way"), Good  Morning America ("One of the Best Film's of the Year! It's great!), Today ("A smart comedy that's funny!"), New York Times ('The best and smartest film of its kind in a long time"), Los Angeles Times ("Cheerful, cheeky entertainment that smartly mixes knock-about farce with fairy-tale romance"),  and Ebert & Roeper ("two thumbs up").  (Miramax press release)

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TRIVIA

  • BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY began life as a column by journalist Helen Fielding in London's Independent newspaper, but from the beginning, the calorie-counting, e-mail-happy, self-help-book-addicted, vodka-drinking Bridget seemed destined to take on a life of her own. (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films
  • Maguire was also familiar with the Bridget Jones Lifestyle. “When Helen began writing about Bridget, it was a time when we were all still partying, having a really good time, all still cracking clever jokes constantly,” Maguire recalls. “But underlying it all was this secret anxiety about why we hadn’t settled down yet, about why we couldn’t get male approval. We wanted to be independent and strong—but we also wanted to be in love. And that’s the contradiction that makes Bridget so brilliant as a character. That’s what I wanted to get across in the movie: the issues about women and love that are relevant, universal and side-splittingly funny.” (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films
  • During rehearsals for “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” director Sharon Maguire had the three main stars write their own diaries in character.  “Hugh’s, as Daniel, was blatantly sexual,” she said. “Colin, as Mark, only wrote about work. Renee’s diary was ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ in reverse, because she was putting on weight.”(BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films
  • The film, like the book, tells Bridget’s story from one Christmas to the next. To convey the seasonal changes many locations had to covered in snow—at the height of summer. So, just as most people in Britain were gearing up for Wimbledon, Renée Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant were bundled up against the machine-manufactured “snow.”
  • By the time the novel came out, placing Bridget in the midst of a Jane Austen-like dilemma between suitors, Bridget was a household name. Fielding seemed to have hit an exquisitely raw nerve in a whole generation of women who felt - like the fictional Bridget -that despite powerful careers, financial independence, high-tech conveniences and more choices than ever, they still weren't quite getting what they wanted . . . especially when it came to love. The phenomenon seemed almost universal. (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films)
  • The Austen connection; Hugh Grant played Edward Ferris and Gemma Jones played Mrs. Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility (1995); Embeth Davidtz played Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park (1999)
  • "Bridget Jones's Diary" had the highest grossing opening weekend for any British film in history (approximately $10.4m). (Miramax press release)
  • Jeffrey Archer and Salman Rushdie make cameo appearances as themselves in the book launch scene
  • Neil Pearson, who plays Bridge's boss Richard Finch, played Paul Ashworth's dad in Fever Pitch

Filming Locations for Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 
  • Borough Market, London, England, UK 
  • JFK International Airport, Queens, New York, USA 
  • King's Cross, London, England, UK 
  • Liverpool Street Station, London, England, UK 
  • London, England, UK 
  • Snowshill, Gloucestershire, England, UK 

  • (Bridget's parents' home) 
  • London’s Globe Tavern in Borough—where the Great Train Robbery was planned—provided the exterior for Bridget's house.
  • Other recognizable London locations in BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY include the Cantina, Shad Thames where Bridget enjoys her first date with Daniel; The Tate Modern which provides a spectacular view of London and the setting for an evening Bridget spends with her friends; The Royal Courts of Justice for the scene in which Bridget attempts to get a news interview; a magnificent loft apartment overlooking the Thames and Tower Bridge in Clink Wharf which provides Daniel with a home; and St. Pancras Station and Tower Bridge, famous London landmarks through which Bridget makes her way. Outside London, the production filmed in Stoke Park Club, Stoke Poges, where Bridget and Daniel enjoy their mini-break; and in Wrotham Park, Barnet, which provided a home for the Darcy family. (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films)
  • London Premiere: 4.4.2001 UCI Empire Leichester Sq (BJD ad from Time Out Magazine) A charity gala supporting Comic Relief
  • NYC Premiere: 2.4.2001
  • Colin's son Lucca was born in Italy shortly before the NYC premiere. 

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COMMENTS BY COLIN


Colin at the London premiere of BJD 4.4.2001
 
 







 

Total Film (May 2001)
  • I just hope that, if the critics like it, they'll be honest about that and not feel that they've got to say something to counterbalance the fact that it's popular. Some people don't want to admit they like Four Weddings or Notting Hill or The Full Monty just because everybody else likes those sorts of things.
  • While the Bridget Jones thing was running in The Independent, someone pointed it out to me and said: "Did you realise you're beginning to be mentioned regularly in that column?" So by the time it was a book, I was well aware that the whole Darcy thing was part of it. It's very unusual for most people to find themselves referred to in a work of fiction. I found it very odd, but definitely appealing and flattering. In fact, the interview that takes place in the book's sequel is something that I participated in. We did it as a kind of performance.
  • I did briefly wonder if it was a good idea or not. Mr Darcy occupies a miniscule portion of my life as it's something that happened six years ago. In the end my sense of humour encouraged me to do it. I think it's more amusing if it's me and it's more amusing for me as well. But there are all kinds of self-referential layers that you've got to get through in order to find a character that's playable. You can't walk onto the set saying "Right, shall I strike a Mr Darcy pose or shall I try to be Colin Firth?" I don't think anybody can consciously play themselves.
  • Firth found himself drawn to Darcy’s more delicious hidden side. “I think Darcy’s actually extremely emotional and passionate,” he explains. “He has all the qualities that make a person dynamic yet they’re all closed inside this very formal English strait-jacket. What appeals to me is that fact that he’s revealed so slowly. I love it when you’re proved wrong about a character.”
  • You can’t not be enormously flattered to start with, you know, to have made it into fiction, into popular fiction, feels like quite an achievement. In fact, it’s one of the biggest accolades, I think, modern society can accord you is that you have now become part of the general canon of popular reference points. And it was delightful. It didn’t happen suddenly because this thing had been growing as a diary column for some time, but I was absolutely thrilled.  I felt immortalized. (from interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air 7.5.2001)

  •  
  • Mr Darcy vs Mark Darcy: Mr. Darcy is very much a man of his time.  He’s isolated by other factors, but Mark Darcy, I think, is not typical, is not certainly typical of the Englishmen his age that I know and I think that he comes from a rather archaic family and I think that he’s someone whose personality is crippling him in some way. (from interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air 7.5.2001)


Film Review (May 2001)

  • ...starring in a film that has been cross-pollinated in this way by his own past work is hardly a sign that Firth is desperate to avoid the subject being brought up."If you can't beat them, join them" he laughs "I just thought I'd get in the act now. And in a way there is something quite satisfying about being a part of it again" 
  • "the 2 heart-throb actors do get to indulge in one of this year's more memorable screen fights." 
  • "Oh, that was great." Firth smiles, "We just decided to fight like a couple of wallies, which is probably how we would fight if we did it for real. No big cowboy punches for us...." 

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COMMENTS ABOUT COLIN
    • Helen Fielding: "The only movie star I cast in my head was Mr Darcy or Colin Firth, as he is often called. When Pride And Prejudice was being screened on the BBC, Bridget had an enormous crush on him, so I created the character of Mark Darcy as a surreal fantasy/reality - blurring romantic figure. I see him as a sort of delicious Colin/Mark/Mr Darcy melange." (Total Film May 2001
    • "Colin Firth plays Mark Darcy, an intriguing casting, since he won fans around the world for playing Mark Darcy's smouldering namesake, Mr. Darcy, in the internationally acclaimed mini-series of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice.' Indeed, Helen Fielding always had Colin Firth in mind for the part, even as she was writing the novel, since Mark Darcy is modeled on Austen's prideful romancer.  'Helen and the rest of us had no doubts,' recalls Eric Fellner. 'Colin had to be Mark Darcy'."(BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films)
    • Colin Firth [was] brave to take on thankless part of stiff, snooty English lawyer who appreciates Bridget just as she is, and turns out to be decent cove once you get to know him. (C.Tookey Daily Mail 4.4.2001
    • Firth excellent at little eye-flickers that give away hidden sensitivity beneath. Also makes change to see articulate Englishman in movies who is not complete swine or twit.  (C.Tookey Daily Mail 4.4.2001)
    • That Firth, who was the dark dreamboat Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, plays dull dreamboat Darcy here simply underlines the comedy-of-manners connection between Helen Fielding's work and Jane Austen's (Time Magazine, 9.4.2001)
    • Renee Zellweger: “The fight scene was hysterical. None of us knew they were doing the prissy fight on purpose,” she said. “I was standing there, this girl from Texas, thinking ‘Oh my. Hold on now, I’ve seen everything. This is a kindergarten, pulling-hair fight.’ I could beat them up.” (from transcript of the Press conf with cast and director to promote BJD in the US)
    • Maguire, by the way, verifies Grant’s report that Zellweger was sweetness and light during production — and that Grant was the “set bitch.” “Him and Colin are both very campy,” she says. “They called each other ‘Mrs. Firth’ and ‘Mrs. Grant.’ Oh, how’s Mrs. Grant this morning? We had a running joke about whose turn it was for a hissy fit, and the boys would fight it out. 'It’s my turn for a tanty!' Renee didn’t have any tantrums. There’s no bulls—t to her. She’s got no vanity. She just got on with the job.” (Newsweek 9.4.2001)

    •  
    • According to Hugh Grant both he and Colin "were both on diets, and the lead actress was scarfing pizza. She ate in front of us and was always trying to get us to be on her strict reverse diet, and whenever her people had their backs to us she would plead with us to eat some of it, but we never did." (BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films
    • She also agreed that Grant and Firth were a little bit harder to deal with than Zellweger. Everyone on the set got a tantrum day where they could throw a fit. Everyone had that day but Renee; she’s a very untantrumy person.”(BJD presskit, courtesy Miramax Films
    • Bridget’s Darcy is rich, marvelous and annoys the hell out of her. He starts off as a seemingly snobby, emotionless intellectual but slowly melts in Bridget’s presence into a man who can not only kiss but make dinner to boot. He soon proves himself to have a well-spring of suppressed emotion and raw passion. “Colin has the quality of somebody who is a tiny bit aloof from life but seems to understand things,” explains Cavendish. “That, combined with his tremendous power as an actor, make him the perfect Mark Darcy.”
    • Colin Firth is also nicely cast. In print and on film, Darcy is somewhat stuffy, a guy who may not be a ton of fun but who is a good man nevertheless. The interplay between Darcy and Bridget is very funny: he's all uptight and proper, while she is dizzy and perpetually flustered. (THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan) 

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    REVIEWS


    • The casting of Colin Firth as Mark Darcy is inspired. Firth, who essayed Mr. Darcy in the hugely popular 1995 BBC/A&E television production of Pride and Prejudice, plays this part exactly as he played the earlier role, making it evident that the two Darcys are essentially the same. He's a repressed snob who gradually, unwillingly finds himself falling for the least suitable woman around him - Bridget (who, upon closer examination, bears a passing resemblance to Elizabeth Bennet). (BJD Review by James Berardinell
    • 'In some ironic casting, Colin Firth is playing another Darcy, both  literally and metaphorically. Adept at being the stuffed shirt, Firth gives a subtle performance playing a difficult character.' (Dark Horizon March 2001)
    • Most reviews mention Colin in passing (almost as if his presense in the film didn't matter);
      • Popcorn (3.2001) Firth is...impressive as the glowering Darcy
      • Times of London (19.3.2001){Firth and Grant] are classic buttock-clenchers: good-looking, upper-class twits with oodles of charm - deeply repressed in Firth's case
      • The Observer (4.4.2001) Bridget Jones is described as a reworking of Pride and Prejudice. In a complicated piece of cross-referencing, Bridget is obsessed with Colin Firth, who played Mr Darcy in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's work. She ends up falling for another man called Darcy, also played by Firth. 
      • The Guardian (4.4.2001) Colin Firth is subtly virile

      •  

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     FAVORITE QUOTES

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    FAVORITE SCENES


     
     
     

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    SCENES TO WATCH FOR


     
     
     

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     ________RATINGS

    Rating System
    ***** Superb/breathtaking/heartstopping/etc
    **** Excellent
    *** Very pleasing
    ** Still lovely, but . . .
    * Bad hair day

    Personal Ratings:

    ***** Colin's looks
    ***** Colin's acting ability
    **** The film in general
    **** Ranking in the films of Colin Firth
    ***** Watchability & rewind factor

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     WEB LINKS

    Back to Main Roles Page

    Visit the original Friends of Firth website, which now incorporates the Circle of Friends web ring

    Visit Murph's website- includes listings for other Firth websites

    Visit Lisa's overview of Colin's career & web page
     

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     CREDITS

    • Photos courtesy Miramax Films, dvd caps by meluchie.
    • Newspaper and presskit articles compiled and 

    • edited by meluchie
    • Page layout by Lisa W and Mary M.
    • Page assembled by meluchie

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