Renee Zellweger Was Eating 4,000 Calories a Day While Filming Bridget Jones’s Diary

The actress took her preparation for one of the biggest roles in her career to the extreme.

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Renée Zellweger’s list of acting credits are far and wide — from Jerry Maguire to Me, Myself & Irene to playing Judy Garland in Judy.

The Cinderella Man also furthered Renée Zellweger’s impressive streak — or uncanny ability — of acting in at least one major blockbuster and/or critically beloved film each year. Some of them included Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Chicago (2002),and Cold Mountain (2003).

In 2005, Zellweger starred alongside Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man. The boxing biopic scored a dizzying number of awards and nominations, including three nods from Oscar.

But few would question that Zellweger broke through with her leading role in Bridget Jones’s Diary.

Zellweger Takes Bridget Jones’s Diary to the Extreme

Released in the Spring of 2001, Bridget Jones’s Diary was a massive hit — especially for a rom-com. The picture raked in $282 million on a budget of only $25 million.

Not only that, but the Jones character became embedded in British culture, due also to the success of the 1996 novel on which it was based. (The book itself was a reinterpretation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.)

Thanks to Zellweger’s universally beloved performance and its huge success overall, the movie spawned two sequels, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016). Perhaps surprisingly, they fared about as well as the first volume in the trilogy.

Around the time the third movie hit theaters, Vogue ran a story saying Zellweger had a 4,000-calorie-a-day diet during the filming of the first two Bridget Jones movies.

Zellweger told the magazine that the weight gain was dangerous.

“I had a panic attack with all the specialists talking about how bad this is for you, long term, putting on that much weight in short periods of time,” the actress said. “They [were] all saying, ‘You must stop this now or you’re going to die.’”

She also didn’t exercise while making the movies. However, the British tabloid Express said she “rushed back to the gym and lost weight rapidly” after the second one wrapped.

Read More: “Renée Zellweger ‘Couldn’t Wait to Turn 50’, Slams Anti-Aging Products

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