Bridget Jones star Sally Phillips recalls Renée Zellweger ‘suddenly losing a stone and talking in a Texan accent at the wrap party’

Actor had stayed in character as a Londoner throughout filming

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Bridget Jones’s Diary actor Sally Phillips has reminisced on filming the movie, 20 years after its release.

The 2001 rom-com, which starred Renée Zellweger as a 32-year-old single woman living in London and Colin Firth and Hugh Grant as her love interests, will celebrate its 20th anniversary next week.

Reflecting on Firth and Grant’s iconic fight scene, Phillips – who played best friend Shaz in the film – told ITV’s Lorraine: “This is them improvising... slapping each other, trying to kick and missing. We filmed this scene for a whole week. As you can see we’re not in it very much so we sat in deck chairs and watched Hugh and Colin slap each other for a week. And Jim Carrey was there. Renée was dating Jim at that point. So he was bigger and taller and harder and fitter than both of them, so I think they were even more embarrassed.”

Speaking about Zellweger staying in character on set, Phillips said: “It was really weird. I’d made quite good friends with her during the filming, I realised towards the end when she suddenly lost a stone in the last week and started talking in a Texan accent at the wrap party, I’d made friends with Bridget, not Renée.”

She added: “I felt like those women must feel who’ve had a relationship with an undercover cop, a bit deceived and weirded out. But I think it was genius actually [to cast her]. There were lots of people up for that part.”

It was recently revealed that Zellweger went undercover working at a British publishing company for a whole month to prepare for the role.

Zellweger, an American, used a posh accent as well as an alias, and was said to be unrecognised by the workers around her.

The one thing that would have clued people up to her identity, though, was a framed picture of Carrey that she kept on her desk.

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