Hollywood debates the literary heroine's weight, and the '80s rappers take to the small screen

By Alexandra Jacobs
July 31, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

WEIGHT WATCH Is Bridget Jones overweight, or merely overwrought? Hard to say. Though the flighty protagonist of the postfeminist best-seller Bridget Jones’s Diary furnishes daily updates on her poundage—which fluctuates over the course of the novel from 119 (“a historic and joyous day”) to over 131 (“state of emergency”)—readers are never told how tall she is, clearly a crucial detail in picturing her body shape. “Bridget’s height is kept deliberately vague, like her age, so people can fill in the rest as they choose to imagine and identify with their chosen level of paranoia,” says author Helen Fielding. An editorial assistant for the book’s publisher, Viking, weighs in: “I picture her as definitely not fat, but not Ally McBeal skinny—maybe like Kate Winslet.” Coincidentally, Winslet’s name has been floated for the upcoming feature adaptation, as has that of Minnie Driver, who plumped up 25 pounds for 1995’s Circle of Friends. But if Hollywood goes by the recently revised standards of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the actress who portrays Jones would have to be under five feet tall for the character to qualify as even mildly overweight (a body mass index of 26), let alone obese (a BMI of 27.3). Has anyone called Miss Piggy?—Alexandra Jacobs

ON THE RUN It’s like this: Run-D.M.C. are back. But not in the studios—rather, the hardcore ’80s rappers are all over the small screen. While the Queens-bred trio’s musical career has been decidedly low-profile in recent years (they haven’t cut an album since 1993’s Down With the King and have toured mostly colleges and small clubs), they seem to have discovered a new, if unlikely, niche—as commercial pitchmen. In April, Run, D.M.C., and Jam Master Jay began hyping Major League Soccer in an ad for ESPN2. Later this month they will appear in two more spots, one for the Gap’s original fit jeans (doing a takeoff on their ’80s song “Peter Piper”) and one for Virgin cola (doing an unscripted meditation on the mainstreaming of rap music for the soda’s “Say Something” campaign). Why is everyone suddenly walking their way? “They really are pioneers in that genre,” says Gap spokesperson Rebecca Weill. “They have a lot of energy, and that makes them valuable in a campaign. I guess you could say they’re a perfect, uh, fit.”—Shawna Malcom

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