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Renée Zellweger’s Over Talking About Bridget Jones’s Weight: ‘I’ve Never Understood Why It Matters So Much’

Renée Zellweger's played Bridget Jones in three movies and each time her appearance has made headlines. The actor famously gained weight for the part in 2001 and again in 2004 but now she wants to move on from the conversation.

Renée Zellweger doesn’t get the fascination with Bridget Jones’s weight. Zellweger’s starred in many movies but few are as memorable as her turn as the clumsy and lovable Brit in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Zellweger’s certainly not the first actor to change their appearance for a movie. Charlize Theron gained weight for Tully. And Christian Bale’s undergone so many physical transformations for movies it’s become what he’s known for.

Renée Zellweger at the premiere of 'Same Kind Of Different As Me'
Renée Zellweger at the premiere of Same Kind Of Different As Me | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Putting on 30 pounds according to CBS News, Zellweger made headlines for playing Bridget, a 30-something single woman in 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary

Renée Zellweger gained weight to play Bridget Jones twice

Bridget Jones’s Diary was such a success with moviegoers the people behind the film decided to continue Bridget’s story. Zellweger, who had lost the weight she initially put on to play Bridget, had to gain it all back for 2004’s Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

As she told CNN in 2000, Zellweger didn’t have a problem putting on the weight until the filming schedule for Bridget Jones’s Diary left her too tired to eat. 

“I was very successful until we started to do night shoots,” she said. “They just leave you so fatigued and with absolutely no appetite and I was repulsed at the thought of those obligatory Snickers bars.” 

Renée Zellweger on the set of 'Bridget Jones's Diary'
Renée Zellweger on the set of Bridget Jones’s Diary | Ken Goff/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images

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She went from a size two to a size 14 eating foods such as French toast, pizza, chocolate, and milkshakes. 

Zellweger admitted a few years after she’d gone through the process of gaining weight to play Bridget not once but twice, that it concerned her. According to Marie Claire U.K., the actor worried about the impact it would have on her health. 

“I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you long-term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time,” she said in a 2007 interview. 

Renée Zellweger doesn’t get the fascination with her weight gain to play Bridget Jones

Zellweger reprised her role as Bridget in 2016 after playing the character in the early aughts. But this time around, she didn’t have to go through a major physical transformation. As previously mentioned, Zellweger gained a “few pounds” for Bridget Jones’s Baby.

In the lead up to the film’s release, she told British Vogue she was over discussing Bridget’s weight. 

“Bridget is a perfectly normal weight and I’ve never understood why it matters so much,” Zellweger said. “No male actor would get such scrutiny if he did the same thing for a role.”

This wasn’t the first time the actor shared her feelings about Bridget’s weight and her weight gain for the role. In fact, she told the New York Post in 2004 the world’s fascination with her body was “so silly.” 

“It was so silly,” she said of her weight. “The 20-doughnuts-a-day rumors, and the ‘Does she look better Bridget-y or bony?’ questions. I didn’t understand the fascination with it. It’s just my job. You’re supposed to look like the characters you play, and that’s all I was doing.”