After 13 years Helen Fielding has started working on a third novel centered around the famous Bridget Jones , who was born out in 1995 of a weekly column in The Independent.
More than 15 millions copies were sold of the first two books (Bridget Jones’ Diary and The Edge of Reason), which inspired two films, starring Renee Zellweger as Bridget (photo, from telegraph.co.uk).
After about a decade in Los Angeles, Mrs Fielding came back to London two years ago with her two children and rediscovered the voice of her most famous character.
For this new book she turned to the world of texting and Twitter to help her imagine a new “scenario for Bridget”.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour : “I’m having a lot of fun, and it’s very funny and it’s making me laugh.”
She said that “after the unexpected success when it first came out, I was startled by the whole thing.”
“When I first wrote it I didn’t think anyone would read it. It was just a column in the Independent, so it was very easy to write and be very honest – and then I got all self-conscious because I knew so many people would read it.”
But the spring of 2011 brought her new ideas : “I had new stuff I wanted to say and things that were making me laugh.”
“Things that didn’t exist when I wrote the last Bridget, like emails really, and texting, the way life is lived through texting and Twitter, and a whole new idea for a phase of her life.”
“It’s more like ‘number of Twitter followers: 0. Still no followers. Still no followers’. But she has grown up,” explained Fielding, who revealed that the new book will take place in present day London.
“My life has moved on and hers will move on too,” said Fielding. “She’s still trying to give up [drinking and smoking], she’s still on a diet.
“She’s trying a bit harder, and is a bit more successful, but she’s never really going to change.”
‘Getting Bridget right’
And 2013 will see a lot of Bridget Jones as a third movie entitled Bridget Jones’s Baby is due for release early next year.
Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver should still by played by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
Mrs Fielding described this film as “a different, earlier story, not based on a novel – it started with some columns I wrote in the Independent about six years ago.
“I think with a third instalment [of the film] the stakes are very high. We all go back a long way, we’re all really fond of each other and everyone really wants to get it right, but that means there are a lot of voices, a lot of writers.
“Getting Bridget right, I always think it’s like a little duck – in the end it needs to skim effortlessly along the surface, but underneath the legs are going really, really fast.
The author also said the musical is still a work in progress.
“It’s been huge fun and will take ages because musicals do. It’s herding butterflies, people move off and then come back together again but I think it’s going to be fantastic when it does happen.”