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BRIDGET JONES: THE EDGE OF REASON

Production Notes (Continued)
Grant, who went to town creating the simpering, sleazy and yet somehow indescribably seductive Daniel Cleaver for the first Bridget Jones film, returns to create a Cleaver who claims he has radically changed, despite being perhaps even more deliciously depraved than ever. Although Cleaver's role in Helen Fielding's novel of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was limited, the screenwriters expanded it for the film to reflect how vital the Hugh Grant character has become in eliciting the susceptible side of Bridget Jones. They brought Cleaver and Bridget back into close contact by making them journalistic partners on a new travel television show ironically entitled The Smooth Guide.

Needless to say, Bridget's latest liaison with Cleaver turns out to be anything but smooth. Though she begins by calling him "a deceitful, arrogant, sexist, low-minded, disgusting specimen of humanity," she winds up in a Bangkok hotel room with that same specimen nevertheless, though with an unexpected outcome.

Grant found that upon returning to the role of Cleaver he had all too little trouble sliding back under the character's skin. "I don't think I'm quite as black as Cleaver is in his soul, but I certainly share some of the same tastes and frailties," Grant offers.

For Beeban Kidron, Grant provides the dark comic heart of the film. "Hugh in the role of Cleaver is just mesmerizing," she states. "He's a really exciting actor to watch because he actually works very, very hard in contrast to the often laconic characters he plays to whom everything comes so easily. He also has an amazing sense of comedy timing. But, most of all, I think he captures the indescribable essence of that bad boy women desire – the man we don't want to marry but, in Bridget's language, we definitely want to shag."

Bridget Jones's budding romance is further complicated and nearly blown to bits by a supporting cast of characters who add an array of comic complications to the story of Edge of Reason. A new and key addition to the story is the character of Rebecca, Mark Darcy's mysterious young colleague, who couldn't be prettier, richer, leggier or more threatening to Bridget's idea of romantic bliss. Convinced Rebecca has her eyes, if not more, on Darcy, Bridget has no idea how to defuse the situation, especially because she believes Rebecca is precisely the person Mark wishes Bridget could be in his dreams.

To play Rebecca, the filmmakers chose rising Australian star Jacinda Barrett, who was thrilled to be part of an episode in Bridget Jones's life. "I read both the books, saw the first movie and was just so excited to be part of this," she says. "For me, the best part of it all was getting the chance to watch Renée. She brings so much fearlessness to this part. I found myself watching her through Rebecca's eyes as she stumbles and makes a fool of herself and puts her foot in her mouth, and found her to be both inspiring and incredibly adorable."

Says Colin Firth of Jacinda Barrett's performance: "The fun part about Rebecca is that she isn't quite what she seems. I think it's one of those roles where the audience will be able to go back a second time and trace the exact moments, the little glances, the subtle signals Jacinda gives that they missed the first time around."

Even as Bridget battles jealousy and struggles to make sense of her own affairs of the heart, she finds that her famously incompatible parents are re-lighting their own romantic torch. Though her mother is as embar

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