Immediately after I put up an interview with Hugh Grant for "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," I received an angry email from a female who claimed Colin Firth is the reason to see "Bridget Jones." While I don't agree with Firth being the only reason to revisit "Bridget," I definitely agree Firth is a major selling point in getting females over the age of 18 to fill theater seats.
INTERVIEW WITH COLIN FIRTH ('Mark'):
Does Darcy have a character arc? What was the challenge of bringing something unique to Darcy?
I don't know if there's an arc. The Darcy thing's been going on for so long for me. It's beginning to feel like an arc that dates back to 1994. This felt like another episode in this ongoing story of some guy's life, in one version or another.
I suppose that if there's a shape to what he goes through, in some ways it would be the path from the film three years ago. What happens when they walk off into the sunset? What happens to happily ever after? You see something of the bliss of their relationship, which I think is one of the hardest things that you can seek to portray in any sort of genre or comedy. You see the irritations and you see the patterns repeat themselves. You see the things that annoyed each of them about each other when they first met actually come to haunt them. You see them separate, and then, you actually see a pattern that's actually one we've seen before. She suspects him of being, well, she finds him standoffish. She finds him arrogant, rigid and all the things that she didn't like when she first met him all come back. And all the good deeds he's doing are hidden away. He doesn't demonstrate any of them. Daniel Cleaver comes back on the scene. So you've basically got it very familiar.
Were you ready to do this again?
I didn't want to think of it as 'again.' You see, I think it certainly wouldn't have been something I wanted to do if it felt like doing it again. The way we like to characterize this is that it is an adaptation of a novel, which was finished, done, dusted, and an entity in its own right, I think already on the shelves by the time we made the first film. So, it did have a right to exist. It wasn't just conjured up to try to cash in on an earlier film. Having said that, yes, we were extremely cautious - all of us, I think.
We didn't want it just to seem like an homage to something else. There are great dangers when the first film is very much loved. But we didn't want to mess with that, really. And I don't think anyone recalls ever having said "Yes" to this job. It was something that, you know, there was a momentum that happened and it seemed inevitable. Not unlike getting your draft papers, really.
Did you rehearse the fight scene? How did you get it to look so realistic?
We didn't rehearse it very much. I'm ashamed to say the reason it looked real is because we were two normal fellows who don't know how to fight. My experience of violent confrontation dates back to the playground age, about six or seven years old. So that's what I drew from, and I think Hugh would say the same. If you get two very angry yuppies and then put them together, I think you will get a fight that looks much more like that than Jackie Chan.
In the book, Bridget Jones interviews Colin Firth. Was this scene considered for the film? Would you play a dual role like that?
No, it starts to get confusing. No, there was never any talk of Colin Firth appearing as a character. That wasn't contemplated for even a second. In fact, when the contract was being negotiated for "Bridget Jones's Diary" four years ago, I remember when they were discussing the option for the sequel, which was part of the contract, I think my agent said to whoever was at the other end of this, who, "If there is a sequel, who will play Colin Firth?" And there was a long pause at the other end of the phone, and the woman said, "We'll call you back." They called [back] about a half an hour later saying, "There are currently no plans to feature a character named Colin Firth."
There were discussions of creating a version of that interview using some other figure. It didn't have to be [me], it could be anybody really. Bridget Jones interviews someone, a celebrity. And they toyed with versions of it. It eventually went by the wayside. It was a nice conceit, but