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Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones)
THEN: After her breakthrough in 1996’s Jerry Maguire, Renée Zellweger won the famed title role of Bridget Jones. For her portrayal of a 32-year-old British woman struggling with her career, her love life, and her weight, Zellweger was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar at the 2002 Academy Awards.
NOW: The years following Bridget Jones’s Diary saw Zellweger at the height of her career. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress again with her role as Roxie Hart in the musical Chicago (2002) and she went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 2004 Academy Awards for Cold Mountain. Following her win, the actress reprised her role in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and starred in the critically praised Cinderella Man (2005) and Miss Potter (2006). In 2010, Zellweger took a hiatus from acting, but is set to make her big screen return in Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016.
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Colin Firth (Mark Darcy)
THEN: Colin Firth had women all over the world swooning with his portrayal of Mr. Darcy in the 1995 BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice and did so again as Mark Darcy, in the Pride and Prejudice-inspired film Bridget Jones’s Diary. Initially standoffish and seemingly rude, Mark soon finds himself charmed by Bridget and wins her over in the end.
NOW: Firth’s film career continued strong after Bridget Jones’s Diary, with roles in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002), Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003), Love Actually (2003), Mamma Mia! (2008), Tinker Tailor Solider Spy (2011), and 2015's Kingsman. He was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for A Single Man in 2009 and won for The King’s Speech in 2010. Firth is set to return as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Baby.
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Hugh Grant (Daniel Cleaver)
THEN: Hugh Grant was already known as a romantic-comedy leading man thanks to the 1990s hits Four Weddings and a Funeral, Nine Months, Mickey Blue Eyes, and Notting Hill, but as the womanizing Daniel Cleaver, this was the rare instance when he didn’t get the girl.
NOW: Grant continued to rake it in at the box office after Bridget Jones’s Diary with the 2002 rom-com Two Weeks Notice, the critically acclaimed About a Boy the same year, and the 2003 modern holiday classic Love Actually (also starring Colin Firth). He also joined the star-studded casts of Music and Lyrics (2007), Did You Hear About the Morgans? (2009), and Cloud Atlas (2012). He recently had a memorable appearance in The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and finished filming the comedy-drama Florence Foster Jenkins opposite Meryl Streep.
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Jim Broadbent (Colin Jones)
THEN: Veteran screen and stage actor Jim Broadbent charmed American audiences with his turn in Bridget Jones’s Diary. After appearing in Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Richard III (1995), and The Borrowers (1997), he played Bridget’s father, who often commiserates with Bridget over her mother’s shenanigans.
NOW: 2001 was a busy year for Broadbent. In addition to Bridget Jones’s Diary, he appeared in Moulin Rouge! and Iris, the latter for which earned the star the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He also became the latest actor from Bridget Jones’s Diary to join the Harry Potter franchise in 2009, when he portrayed Professor Horace Slughorn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In 2015 he appeared in Brooklyn and The Lady in the Van.
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Gemma Jones (Pamela Jones)
THEN: After portraying the mother of the Dashwood sisters in Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility in 1995, Gemma Jones joined Bridget Jones's Diary as Bridget's mom. As Pam Jones, she has a penchant for gifting ugly Christmas sweaters and playing matchmaker. Bored with her life, she leaves her husband to have an affair with a shopping channel presenter, but later returns home.
NOW: Jones continued her television work by appearing in many BBC series like Spooks, Merlin, Last Tango in Halifax, and Marvellous, for which she won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. On the big screen, she joined the cast of Harry Potter (along with Shirley Henderson) for The Chamber of Secrets (2002) as Madam Pomfrey, and kept the gig throughout the film series. <!--
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Shirley Henderson (Jude)
THEN: Shirley Henderson played Jude, Bridget’s best friend. She and their circle of pals often go to the pub to discuss Bridget’s problems and love life. Prior to Bridget Jones, Henderson appeared in Trainspotting (1996) and Topsy-Turvy, which also starred Jim Broadbent.
NOW: Shortly after Bridget Jones’s Diary, Henderson snagged her most high-profile role: Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter films. She also appeared in Marie Antoinette (2006) and Anna Karenina (2012). In 2013, Henderson was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actress for Southcliffe. She reprised her role as Jude in Edge of Reason and will do so again in Bridget Jones's Baby.
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James Callis (Tom)
THEN: In his feature film debut, James Callis played Bridget’s friend Tom, an ‘80s one-hit wonder who continues to live off his fame.
NOW: Callis’ picked up one of his most notable roles in the mid-2000s when he was cast as Dr. Gaius Baltar in Battlestar Galactica. He followed it with a recurring role in the Syfy series Eureka and also made guest appearances on several U.S. TV shoes like Arrow, Key and Peele, CSI, and Rick and Morty in recent years.
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Sally Phillips (Shazza)
THEN: Sally Phillips played Shazza, one of Bridget’s best friends who loves to use the f-word a lot. Phillips had several comedic roles prior to the film, including a gig as one of the three lead performers on the English sketch show Smack the Pony.
NOW: Phillips went on to pick up a recurring role as Tilly in comedian Miranda Hart’s show Miranda and later co-wrote the film The Decoy Bride starring David Tennant and Alice Eve in 2011. She recently guest starred in season 2 of HBO’s Veep, where she played the Prime Minister of Finland. In addition to reprising her role in Bridget Jones’s Baby in 2016, she will play Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
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Embeth Davidtz (Natasha)
THEN: Embeth Davidtz played Natasha, the put-together attorney who has her eyes set on Mark Darcy. Her professional and aloof demeanor was a change for those who recognize her as the loving Miss Honey from 1996's Matilda.
NOW: Following Bridget Jones's Diary she played the lead role in Junebug (2005) and appeared as Annika Blomkvist in David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and as Peter Parker’s mother Mary in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). On TV, she had recurring roles in Mad Men and Californication in the late 2000s, and most recently portrayed Marilyn Monroe’s acting coach in the Lifetime film The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.
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James Faulkner (Uncle Geoffrey)
THEN: A prolific star, James Faulkner had dozens of TV credits before he appeared in Bridget Jones’s Diary. He was introduced in the beginning of the film as Uncle Geoffrey, who’s not actually her uncle and gets a little handsy.
NOW: In the years since Bridget Jones, Faulkner made appearances in I Capture the Castle (2003), The Good Shepherd (2006), Hitman (2007), Bank Job, and X-Men: First Class (2011). He recently had a recurring role as Lord Sinderby on Downton Abbey, and will soon appear as Randyll Tarly, the father of Samwell Tarly, in season 6 of Game of Thrones.
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Celia Imrie (Una Alconbury)
THEN: Celia Imrie played Una Alconbury, a friend of Bridget’s mother. She throws a garden party that was originally themed "Tarts and Vicars," so Bridget shows up in a Playboy bunny costume after not getting the memo about the change of plans.
NOW: Imrie added to her already lengthy resume with several more film, TV, and theater roles following Bridget Jones’s Diary. She made big-screen appearances in Calendar Girls (2003), Wimbledon (2004), Imagine Me & You (2005), Nanny McPhee (2005), and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011). In 2005, Imrie won a Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Acorn Antiques: The Musical!