Hugh Grant has revealed that he turned down a role in Bridget Jones's Baby – because he didn't like the script.
The actor, who starred as Daniel Cleaver in the first two Bridget Jones films, says he declined the chance to star in the third because of his reservations that it wouldn't be the right fit for him. Bridget Jones's Baby, which is released in September, is the first of the Bridget Jones movies to have an original storyline that's not taken directly from one of author Helen Fielding's books, though Fielding is one of the film's writers.
Grant said he considered reprising his role as the smarmy Cleaver in the new movie, but decided against it after reading the script. "They had a lovely idea for a film, but I'm particularly difficult and queeny when it comes to scripts," he told Andy Cohen, host of the American chatshow Watch What Happens: Live, "and I couldn't quite make the script work for me. "
In an attempt to soften the impact of his criticism, the actor added "So they then made it without me and I'm sure it's brilliant." Asked if might regret the decision, he joked: "It depends how much money it makes."
The film instead stars Patrick Dempsey as a new character, with Colin Firth returning as Bridget's sometime-love Mark Darcy and, naturally , Renée Zellwegger as the titular Bridget.
On the same talk show, Grant initially failed to recognise Zellwegger from a photograph, saying "Who is the one second from the right, because I've never seen her before in my life." When he was then asked about her personality and whether the actress is 'down to earth', Grant then joked at her expense: "Oh, Renee! Not exactly down to earth. Out to lunch."
Grant's most recent film is Florence Foster Jenkins, co-starring Meryl Streep, whom he had said he was terrified of working with. The Golden Globe-winning actor has also become well known as a campaigner against press intrusion in recent years, supporting the Hacked Off campaign for a more accountable press and appearing on the BBC's Question Time.