Looks Like Renee Zellweger's Bridget Jones's Diary Performance Was Too Real For New Boyfriend Ant Anstead

renee zellweger ant anstead

Most of us would, pretty naturally, assume that when celebrities get together, they already know a fair amount about one another. The very public nature of their work and much of their lives generally means that they've been interviewed a lot and even gossiped about quite frequently, and it can seem easy to put together some of the pieces of their lives before actually meeting them. Well, it turns out that Celebrity IOU: Joyride host Ant Anstead may not have known much about Oscar-winning actress Renée Zellweger before they met and started dating, because her Bridget Jones's Diary performance might have been too real for him.

As most people who enjoy thinking about the dating lives of celebrities will know by now, Ant Anstead and Renée Zellweger met in early June when she filmed an episode of his new show, Celebrity IOU: Joyride, for Discovery+. The series premiered just yesterday, and finally gave fans their look at the new couple in action restoring two cars for the brothers who acted as caregivers to Zellweger's late publicist while she battled ALS.

During the episode, Anstead's co-host, Cristy Lee, is prepping him for their meeting with the movie star, and tells him that Zellweger spoke in a British accent during her entire time filming Bridget Jones's Diary and even through the wrap party so she could nail the accent. This prompted a slightly confused look from the master mechanic, who replied:

Are you telling me that Bridget Jones — Renée Zellweger — isn't British? You're like a dream crusher for me.

After his initial shock, Lee informed her co-host that Zellweger is, in fact, from Texas, which is what led to Anstead's "dream crusher" comment. While it's hard to say whether or not Anstead was totally serious about previously believing that the Bridget Jones star was actually from England, I suppose it's not that hard to imagine that he was unaware of the truth.

Sure, Renée Zellweger has been starring in major motion pictures for nearly 30 years, and has (as mentioned above) been interviewed and talked about widely for much of that time. Even though it's hard to remember, not everyone is as committed to knowing any and everything about famous people as we are (We're a team now, you and I. Enjoy it while it lasts.), so this basic information about where Zellweger grew up could have slipped right past Anstead during this time.

Plus, he was busy becoming a master mechanic, and it's likely he had to focus on that for a long time, which could have eliminated brain space for things like where a random celeb spent the early years of her life.

Not only that, but actors adopt accents that aren't their own for roles on a regular basis, and some of them take on the speech patterns of the same country so much that it seems impossible that they aren't actually from that place. Remember when you finished watching all of The Wire and then heard Idris Elba and Dominic West speak with their real accents? That's exactly the feeling that Anstead could have had upon meeting Zellweger for the first time.

Luckily, his potential shock at her true nature didn't dull the sparks that must have flown between them as they filmed Celebrity IOU: Joyride. Ant Anstead and Renée Zellweger seem to be going strong, with him having recently spoken about how close they've become, and that's good for both of them.

You can watch Celebrity IOU: Joyride on Discovery+, but for more to watch, check out our 2021 fall TV schedule!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.