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Stuntmen were used for when they went crashing through the window, but otherwise the climactic rumble between Mark and Daniel was unchoreographed. Firth told the Los Angeles Times in 2016, “We’re two very ineffectual, frightened, angry yuppies going at each other—pulling hair and wanting to run away at the same time.”
Grant told Cinema.com, “I’ve been trying to do something like that for years. You know, when the script says ‘they fight,’ to ban the stunt coordinator from the set. Because they always try to make it look so Hollywood. You know, we fight the way two middle-class educated Englishmen would fight. Which I’ve always maintained would be sort of girlie and cowardly, you know? With squealing!”
But if they had to fight for real, “well obviously I’d win!” Grant promised. “You know, I was trained to kill! But Colin did marvelously, for someone who’s not very, well, sporty.”
As it turned out, though, they were a smash hit and audiences demanded more.
“Hugh and I have only ever worked together in order to fight,” Firth deadpanned in a Fandango Extras clip after he and Grant were compelled to tussle again in the 2004 sequel Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. “On the first film we had very little together, except the fight. Here we are again, doing absolutely nothing except fighting, again.”
So, when they reunited for the long-awaited scene, they really went for it. With the trash-talking, that is.
“He complained bitterly, of course,” Firth said. “I was ‘hurting him,’ he had bruises. I think probably if we ever did do it again I would advise him to get in a bit of training first.”
Grant offered, “Colin now has to spend even more time in the trailer, poor old boy, ’cause he’s, you know, he’s losing it a little. I think he’d be the first to tell you that. He’s gone a bit jowly and the neck’s gone a bit scrawny and all that.”
Firth countered, “I think he was spending a bit of time paying attention to his body and his fitness at the time. It’s remarkable the difference three years can make, really, because it was certainly easier for me because he was much fleshier and his contours were softer. It was more like wrestling my grandmother from that point.”