Hugh Grant Admits He Initially Thought Renée Zellweger Playing Bridget Jones Would Be A ‘Stretch’

Hugh - aka Daniel Cleaver - also compared Renée's early attempts at Bridget's accent to Princess Margaret.

Renee Zellweger Bridget Jones

by Bonnie McLaren |

Last night, Bridget Jones' Diary fans were treated to a documentary about the infamous books and films. Being Bridget Jones - which you can watch on iPlayer here - took a look at the life of author Helen Fielding, and the inspiration behind the iconic character and her less-than-perfect life. It also featured interviews with some of the franchise's famous fans -and, of course, the documentary also heard from the stars of the films: Renée Zellweger (Bridget), Hugh Grant (Daniel Cleaver) and Colin Firth (Mark Darcy).

Even though we now all know - and love - Renée as Bridget, there was at first doubts in the press that a Texan actress was taking up the quintessentially British role. And Hugh himself didn't feel too confident at first - the Daniel Cleaver actor wasn't a fan of her initial accent, which he joked about in the documentary.

‘There was a whole scandal about why isn’t this a British actress?' The Undoing actor said. 'And I didn’t know Renée Zellweger, and a Texan playing a British character, it did seem like a stretch.' He then joked about her accent, adding: 'She came in, doing quite a good British accent, but it was Princess Margaret. That was a little startling. Then she was told to kind of, well she thought she better loosen it up a bit. Then she came in and it was Princess Margaret having had a stroke. But a week later it was bang on.' (Well, Renée - who famously worked in a publishing house to prepare herself for the role - must have put in some good training to nail her accent.)

Nearly 20 years since starring in the first film together, Hugh and Renée are still good mates. Hugh recently called her 'a properly good egg and a genius', and admitted she was one of the few actresses he hasn't fallen out with.

READ MORE:27 Things You Didn't Know About Bridget Jones

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CREDIT: Working Title

1. The fictional publishing house that Bridget works for is called Pemberley Press

Pemberley is the name of Darcy's family estate in Pride and Prejudice.

READ MORE: Sorry, Bridget Jones' Mark Darcy Isn't Based On Sir Keir Starmer

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