Renée Zellweger says she has a “Bridget Jones alter ego” and that there are many similarities between her and her most famous big screen character.
Zellweger first played author Helen Fielding’s unlucky in love diarist in the 2001 comedy Bridget Jones’s Diary and has since reprised the role for 2004’s The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016.
Speaking on new BBC documentary Being Bridget Jones (as reported by The Sun), the 51-year-old Oscar winner said her own turbulent private life has too often mirrored that of Bridget.
Zellweger said: “All the things that you would most like not to have in common with Bridget are the things that I find I relate to most closely.
“I’ve had moments when I feel like I’m sitting beside myself watching my Bridget alter ego just spiralling, circling the drain.”
Watch: Hugh Grant brings up Bridget Jones at the BAFTAs
Bridget was created by Fielding in the 1990s, reflecting the writer’s own experiences as a woman who remained single in her thirties.
The star said one of the most interesting elements of the Bridget Jones character is the ways in which she illuminates the different pressures women face when compared to men.
Zellweger split from her long-term partner — guitarist Doyle Bramhall II — in 2019 and has previously dated Bradley Cooper and Jim Carrey, as well as being married for just four months to country singer Kenny Chesney in 2005.
She added: “We hope to be loved and hope to love someone and share our lives in some capacity. For a lady, sadly, there’s this pressure and this sort of unspoken judgment.
“If you’re not cherished by someone, if a man doesn’t find you and treasure you, then your worth somehow comes into question. It’s just the reality of being a lady.”
Despite her misgivings at being a little too much like her character, Zellweger still appreciates the opportunity to play the role.
“I make friends every day because of Bridget,” she said. “Someone comes up and says ‘I learned this from Bridget’ or ‘she means so much to me’. What a gift.”
Zellweger could even step into those big pants again, stating back in 2016 that she’d be more than happy to do a fourth movie if Fielding has an idea.
Being Bridget Jones is due to air on BBC Two at 9pm on 22 December.
Watch: Renée Zellweger talks about growing up with Bridget Jones