Renee Zellweger keen to play Bridget Jones

PARIS: Actress Renee Zellweger said Wednesday she was up for playing hapless British singleton Bridget Jones’s misadventures right to the nursing home.


“From a selfish perspective it could be a lot of fun to see her improvise her way through motherhood and whatever else might follow,” the American star told AFP as the third film of the hugely popular character’s amorous misadventures opened in Paris.

The Texan actress had earlier dropped a heavy hint that a fourth comedy in the franchise may be in the pipeline after “Bridget Jones’s Baby” was greeted with warm reviews after its world premiere in London on Monday.

Her co-star Colin Firth, who plays smouldering but uptight human rights lawyer Mark Darcy, was even more enthusiastic although another movie would see him dicing with death.

“I would be quite something to span a lifetime,” said the actor, the eternal object of Bridget’s affection. “I can’t quite believe we are still here 16 years after the first (film).

“The trouble is that I am under sentence of death,” he joked, referring to how Darcy was killed off aged 51 by Bridget Jones creator Helen Fielding in her last book “Mad About the Boy”.

“Helen Fielding has a contract out on me,” Firth added. “Unless we can stretch the idea that Mark Darcy dies when he is 98 then I’m done for. But I would love for it to go on to watch this lot grow old.”

Fielding, who created the chardonnay-swigging everywoman character in a newspaper column in 1995, had Darcy die after he drives over a landmine.

But after an outcry from fans including actress Gemma Jones who plays Bridget’s mother in the films Fielding has alluded to the fact that fictional characters can come back from the dead.

He would not be the first character to do so in the series, with another of Bridget’s paramours unexpectedly rejoining the land of the living at the end of the latest film.

Twelve years after the last film, “Bridget Jones’s Baby” finds our luckless heroine as a successful television producer.

But at 43 Bridget is resigned to “spinsterdom” until she finds herself pregnant after falling into bed with Darcy shortly after a muddy and drunken tryst with a handsome American internet billionaire, played by Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey.

While Zellweger’s British accent is as impeccable as ever, Firth said his repressed stiff-upper-lipped upper-class character wasn’t anything like him.

“I do not come from Mark Darcy’s background. I don’t come from that sort of privilege,” he told reporters. “I am not a brilliant human rights lawyers, or even brilliant.

“I don’t have his noble agenda and hopefully I am not as constipated as he is,” he joked.

“I don’t think Darcy is very representative of modern Britain even though I have found a lot of work through him. Ironically as a schoolboy I thought I would never, ever wear a suit. So my career” playing a succession of upper-class types including Britain’s last king “has been one of irony”, he said.