The untold story of Mr. Darcy's ugly holiday sweater in Bridget Jones's Diary
Decades before hipsters wore them ironically, Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) donned an iconic ugly sweater: a moose-emblazoned turtleneck for a New Year's Day turkey curry buffet in 2001's Bridget Jones's Diary — and, in doing so, gave us what might have been the first major pop culture appearance of the now-infamous holiday ugly sweater.
Iconic as it may be today, the actor has far-from-fond memories of the sweater (or rather, "jumper") that he wore during Darcy's not-so-cute-meet-cute with Bridget (Renée Zellweger). As the yarn goes: "The set was lit at about 140 degrees Fahrenheit; it melted candles and desiccated the turkey curry," says Firth. "I almost tore the jumper to pieces pulling it off between takes — I probably lost about 15 pounds. I had little love for it by the end."
Firth wasn't the only one sweating over the homely masterpiece. "We sent out the knitting challenge to approximately 20 or 30 knitters," says the film's director, Sharon Maguire. "At first, none of the designs worked. They were lovely, but they just weren't funny. So eventually we decided it had to be a moose, not a reindeer."
Despite the dedicated deer selection, Firth — unlike the rest of us — still isn't a fan of the festive fad. "I have at times been unfairly blamed for subsequent surges in Christmas sweater sales," he says. "For whatever reason, I tend to break a sweat at the sight of them." Also, "I never noticed it was a moose."