11 JUNE 2003
Svelte actress Renee Zellweger has been talking about the gruelling diet regime she has adopted to gain weight for her new film. The Texan star is to reprise her role as plump Londoner Bridget Jones, but she has to go from an size six to a size 14 before shooting can begin.
Every day the 34-year-old has to pack away over 4,000 calories – twice the recommended amount for a woman. She eats a Big Mac with fries, a large milkshake and savoury scones for breakfast. Lunch consists of 20 sugary donuts with peanut butter, pizza, chips and another milkshake. And as if all that weren't enough, come dinner time Renee chows down on a large plate of spaghetti with meat sauce and potatoes.
"It's easier for me this time round because I know what I have to do and how to do it," she says. "I have to stick to it because I found out last time that one donut does not do a thing - you have to eat 20 a day to get results."
She put on 20lbs to play the lovelorn character in the original film, but was reluctant to make a sequel as losing the weight proved so difficult. Dieticians also warn that such an extreme diet can carry health risks, but the promise of a £15- million paycheque seems to have convinced Renee it's worthwhile. That figure is more than four times what she earned for the first Bridget Jones film.