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Dempsey gives us the down-low on the new Bridget Jones film

Renee Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth in a scene from Bridget Jones's Baby.
Renee Zellweger, Patrick Dempsey and Colin Firth in a scene from Bridget Jones's Baby. Giles Keyte

TWELVE years on from the last Bridget Jones movie and it's not happily ever after for Helen Fielding's iconic British character.

Bridget Jones's Baby follows the publishing executive turned TV producer as she faces the new challenges of divorce, dating in her 40s and motherhood.

Bridget Jones's Diary director Sharon Maguire returns to helm the new film, in which Patrick Dempsey enters the picture as Bridget's new love interest, Jack.

Encouraged to just try to have fun, she ends up spending the night with the handsome, charismatic billionaire. But she also reconnects briefly with her ex-husband Mark (Colin Firth).

Bridget becomes pregnant, and isn't sure which of her suitors might be the father.

 

Dempsey, best known for his McDreamy character on Grey's Anatomy, tells Weekend about joining the cast as one-third of a very complicated love triangle.

Q: How aware of the Bridget Jones stories and films were you before you got the role?

A: I was aware of the movie and Bridget and all of that. But I don't have the same connection that women would have to Bridget. She is such an iconic character, and certainly in Europe and England particularly, a beloved character, that it's almost like a cult status. It captured the essence of this generation and other generations certainly can identify with it and I don't think there are a lot of strong female characters that are out there. I think her imperfections make her perfect in many ways. That's what's fascinating about it and why so many people like it. She's real and accessible and human, not some superhero. I think it's a special role for actresses and for other people and she's iconic for that reason. This is a woman who has a good sense of humour and an understanding about herself and is trying to find the answers. So that's the appeal (for me).

Q: What was it like to be the new kid?

A: There was enough time that had gone by when they came back to it so that they were looking at it in a fresh way and restarting. Everyone was in the same place - a little nervous at the beginning of how we could continue on and everything, and that was good. It was nice to be able to have a process with a beginning, middle and end. In a TV series it just continues and success is wonderful, but it can be very challenging in a sense, so this was nice because it was contained. You sat down, you read this script, you talked about it, you worked on the scenes and you let the writers go write it then come back to you, so the pace of it, the process of it was enjoyable and the cast were really accommodating, really generous.

 

Q: Bridget has a choice between these two seemingly great men, but they both have issues?

A: I like that the conflict is not so obvious. Colin and I were really conscious about trying to get away from the stereotypes and yes there has to be some jealousy, but how do we show it? How do we do it in a way where it's somewhat believable and make it not too contrived?

Q: How did you build your dynamic with Colin?

A: It was tough because we didn't know how it was going to play itself out. This is a new character, you're living with what Hugh Grant did with that, and it's wonderful and part of the success of the film. They both love her; they both care about what's going to happen to the baby. So we decided to use that, you know, how can they do the one-upmanship and change the dynamic slightly? So we were discovering it as we were going along but we didn't really have the answers in the beginning, but we answered as many as we could with the time we had.

Topics:  movie