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“I’ve got wet hair,” she shrugs apologetically, “but I’ve put some red lipstick on”. For Firth, who is in Umbria, it is 4pm, and he has just woken up from a nap.
“You’ll find me rather soporific,” he says, speaking from a book-lined room which, he says, “I laughingly call my study”.
As the title indicates, the now 43-year-old TV news producer finds herself knocked-up by either the sexy online dating guru Jack Qwant (Patrick Dempsey, keeping his American accent) she had a fling with at a Glastonbury-like festival, or her longtime crush Mark Darcy (Colin Firth again), the uptight English barrister who, though he’s technically married, she bedded a few nights later.
For a woman whose original casting in the 2001 adaptation of Fielding’s bestseller “Bridget Jones’s Diary” caused much consternation among fans and the Brit actress community, Zellweger is so identified with the role now that even her co-star in that and interim sequel “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason” (2004) can’t conceive of her as American anymore.
On a late Sunday afternoon in August, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and I ring each other up and have a three-way conversation by Skype.
The politics of that are quite complex, it seems to me.
As if to prove his somnolence, for the first half hour the screen conveys him in pixellated form, the outline of his face and his dark-rimmed glasses clear, but his eyes a shifting set of tiny squares.
He is like a digital cartoon of Colin Firth – until suddenly he becomes clear, wide awake thanks to some liberated Italian bandwidth.
“I’ve just forgotten she comes from Texas,” Firth says of Zellweger, who indeed buffed-up her Brit with a voice expert before the 12-year reunion, and remained in character on- and off-set during “Baby’s’ London production.
“When I sit next to her doing press, it always gives me a jolt when I hear her real accent.