‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’: Colin Firth Recalls the Unique Torture of His Moose Ugly Christmas Sweater
Bridget Jones’s Diary isn’t the first film that comes to mind when most people picture classic Christmas movies. However, the 2001 romantic comedy starring Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth undoubtedly includes that holiday spirit. And since it begins at a New Year’s party complete with an ugly Christmas sweater, it qualifies as an appropriate film to watch in December.
However, Firth’s iconic moose sweater was a complete hassle for both the actor and the costume department. Here’s why it caused so much trouble.
‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ has Christmas themes and holiday magic
The movie Bridget Jones’s Diary focuses on a single 30-something British woman named Bridget Jones (Zellweger) who wants to lose weight, quit smoking, and fall in love. Most of the action doesn’t occur during the holidays, however with a New Year’s Eve party in the beginning and a romantic snowy kiss at the end, it could qualify as having the same elements as other treasured Christmas classics.
And then there’s that infamous ugly Christmas sweater which arguably began the whole trend in the first place. Firth’s character Mark Darcy dons a hideous moose sweater at that first party when he meets Bridget. And everyone hates it both in the movie and in real life.
Firth’s awful moose sweater made him a sweaty mess
The biggest issue with the sweater, or “jumper” as they call it across the pond,” was that it made the movie’s leading man sweat buckets under the hot lights of the set. So it wasn’t a question of vanity, but of practicality.
“The set was lit at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit; it melted candles and desiccated the turkey curry,” Firth explained, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“I almost tore the jumper to pieces pulling it off between takes — I probably lost about 15 pounds. I had little love for it by the end.”
And he’s not the only one who felt frustration over one controversial piece of clothing.
The ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ director worked hard on the design
These days, ugly Christmas sweaters are everywhere. But that trend didn’t exist yet while costume designers were deciding what Mr. Darcy would wear to that fateful holiday party. “We sent out the knitting challenge to approximately 20 or 30 knitters,” film’s director Sharon Maguire recalled.
“At first, none of the designs worked. They were lovely, but they just weren’t funny. So eventually we decided it had to be a moose, not a reindeer.”
Firth still can’t stand ugly Christmas sweaters
And even now, Firth has residual negative feelings about the whole thing. “I have at times been unfairly blamed for subsequent surges in Christmas sweater sales,” he told EW. “For whatever reason, I tend to break a sweat at the sight of them.”
As for the unique and hideous design, apparently it was all lost on him anyway. “I never noticed it was a moose,” Firth admitted.
It was a difficult sweater from all angles but remains one of the most memorable aspects of the movie. So maybe all that aggravation was worth it in the end.