Sat, Dec 04, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Timid Zellweger promotes 'Bridget Jones'

Fans and media scurried and stumbled to catch a glimpse of the star

By Yu Sen-lun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Renee Zellweger poses at a press conference yesterday in Taipei, to promote her latest movie.

PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES

Renee Zellweger seemed timid facing nearly a hundred fans and cameramen in Taipei. The Hollywood star arrived in Taipei on Thursday night in a private jet. Amid the chaos of the media chasing her and fans screaming, and while barely maintaining a smiling face because of the fatigue of traveling, Zellweger said, "How are you," to her Taiwan fans.

Zellweger's private plane was scheduled to arrive around 6pm but was postponed to 8pm and then to 10pm. Media and fans became impatient and aggressive when the star arrived. Wearing a knit black top and jeans, Zellweger, now a brunette, was closely surrounded by 20 bodyguards and walked fast through the airport. As the media and fans began to chase the star, several cameramen were pushed to the floor and dropped their cameras.

Taipei is the first stop of her Asia tour promoting Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason. But the Oscar winner was only staying for 37 hours to attend a press conference and the premiere ceremony yesterday evening. She is scheduled to leave for South Korea, the next promotional stop, today at 11am.

She will not attend the awards ceremony of the Golden Horse film festival, despite zealous invitations from the organizers.

Most of the questions thrown to the 35-year-old actress were about her weight flutuactions. For this sequel Zellweger gained more weight (14kg) than in the first movie (9kg), but in six months' time, she returned to a slim figure. How did she do it?

"Like everyone else, I stopped ordering pizza. I went back to the gym and drank less Chardonnay. Also the skiing scene was a good work out for me," Zellweger said.

In the movie, Bridget Jones falls from the top of the ski race slope. "That was the last scene we did for the movie. And for that scene we were back and forth from the top of the hill to the bottom for so many times," she said.

Zellweger said the weight and the put-on English accent were not the main reasons she hesitated to take the role again.

"For me the physical transformation is just part of the transformation and part of the process. What concerns me is I feel stronger responsibility for the character just because Bridget Jones was so warmly embraced by women all over the world. I didn't want to play a role that could not stand on its own," she said.

In the sequel Bridget Jones is again torn between a good-looking, licentious, smooth-tongued ex-boss Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and a wooden-faced but sincere human rights lawyer, Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Which character would Zellweger choose?

"I'm not that simple!" she said, adding the two were just characters in a story.

But what about choosing between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth? "Them? Ah, they are not contenders. Definitely not! Because I know them too well!" she said.

The star who receives US$11 million for a movie has just finished shooting Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe and will be working on the film Piece of My Heart, in which she plays Janis Joplin.

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