Renee Zellweger Reveals Her "Very Bridget Jones Moment" From 2001 Premiere

"There was this huge amount of fuss in the British press about an American girl playing our national treasure," recalled Colin Firth at the stateside debut of 'Bridget Jones's Baby.' "Now, it couldn't be more different."
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Renee Zellweger at the U.S. premiere of 'Bridget Jones's Baby'

When Renee Zellweger arrived at the U.S. premiere of Bridget Jones's Baby, the moment brought back memories of the original film’s New York debut — and its character-like snafu.

"My button popped off my coat, and we had to stop off at the drugstore and get a safety pin to fix it from the inside,” she laughed to The Hollywood Reporter of rushing to the Ziegfeld Theater in 2001. “Perfect, right? A very Bridget Jones moment."

Of the Bridget Jones’s Diary premiere, Colin Firth recalled on Monday night, “There was this huge amount of fuss in the British press about an American girl playing our national treasure. Now, it couldn't be more different. Renee has completely taken ownership of it and no one can imagine it any differently. She is absolutely adored in the role — by me as well — and now I think she has surpassed herself. There's more texture and more dimensions than even before."

The third installment sees Helen Fielding's self-deprecating titular heroine unexpectedly pregnant and guessing whether the father is her longtime love Mark Darcy (Firth) or her spontaneous new hookup Jack Qwant, played by franchise newcomer Patrick Dempsey. He joined the Universal threequel with high expectations.

"I remember the attention that Renee got [in 2001], deservedly — people were skeptical in the beginning, but she pulled it off and got an Oscar nomination for what's now an iconic film character," he told THR outside the Paris Theatre. Making this movie, "she met my expectations and much more. She's a professional and intelligent, and yet so warm and funny and down to earth."

But it is Sharon Maguire, who directed the initial film 15 years ago and also helms Bridget Jones’s Baby, who remembers the night of the first premiere most vividly. "My heart was beating so loud in my chest, I couldn't hear the movie begin or what he reaction was, but this time I'm determined to enjoy it more,” she said. "Hugh [Grant] leaned over to me about ten minutes after the movie began and said, 'Shares, this is actually quite good!' He didn't attempt to mask the surprise in his voice at all. Then he tapped me on the shoulder ten minutes later and said, 'The thing that pisses me off is how good Colin is. I expected Renee to be good, but not Colin!'"

Bridget Jones's Baby hits theaters Sept. 16.

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