TODAY

TODAY   |  October 09, 2013

Helen Fielding: Bridget Jones gets modern in new novel

The author of the popular Bridget Jones book series talks with TODAY contributor Jenna Bush Hager about the latest installment, which takes place after the beloved Mr. Darcy dies and Bridget is once again on the lookout for love and happiness.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> thanks. for almost two decades women ever have been wondering whatever happened to bridget jones ? well, she is back and the new novel mad about the boy is our second today book club selection and jenna bush -hager got to travel to london and interview helen fielder herself.

>> i did. she was amazing. good morning. she is back and even though she is a 50-something single mom , she is still the bridget jones we all fell in love with.

>> reporter: bridget jones in her diary gave a generation of 30 something women validation that in life it's sometimes okay to pick the wrong man. the wrong outfit, or even the wrong undergarment and still be practically perfect just the way we are.

>> to bridget , just as she is.

>> reporter: but could bridget in her 50s have the same effect? the world shall soon find out.

>> how are you? i can't believe we ran into each other on this bridge.

>> reporter: helen fielding is not only the author of the original bridget jones novel but she herself was her very own inspiration for the character she created. so it's no consequence that her latest installment, " mad about the boy ," finds bridget a single mom in her 50s because that's where helen finds herself in life right now as well.

>> first off, it's been 14 years what took so long?

>> with something like bridget , you have a choice. either you keep carrying on doing the same thing over and over again or it means something really important to you and you wait until you're ready and you have something important to say again.

>> bridget has gone through quite a transformation.

>> well, i dared to make her in her 50s. i thought, you know what, when i wrote the first bridget , the idea of this 30-something single woman was still a spinster going to end up dying alone and being eaten by a dog and i thought the same thing is going on with the 50-something woman. she has a tight perm and a shopping bag . she's past her sell by date. all the stereotypes aren't reflecting what's really happening. women are what used to be called middle aged and still have it going on.

>> and bridget may still have it going on but it's who she has it going on with which may have fans in a frenzy.

>> read about it. bridget 's back and mr. darcy 's dead.

>> mr. darcy 's dead.

>> reporter: last we heard from bridget in the movie version, she was engaged to the dashing human rights lawyer mark darcy played by colin firth . in the next book, mr. darcy met an untimely demise leaving our dear heroin a widow with two small children.

>> the hardest thing was calling up colin to tell him. it was one of the strangest conversations of my life. i had to ask him if he had someone with him and if he was sitting down. it was literally as if someone really had died but then we were laughing because they hadn't.

>> did you cry when you had to kill him off?

>> i am writing about bridget being older. it's comedy but for me comedy comes out of real things and there's very few people that have got to bridget 's age to whom something sad has not happened. it's how you feel you're expected to be and how you actually are, i think this one is about the gap about how you think life ought to turn out and how it actually does turn out and bridget 's motto is kbo. keep buggering on.

>> reporter: fans will be pleased to discover she is still bridget with a few modern updates. instead of counting calories she counts twitter followers. and instead of an inappropriate relationship with her boss she might have one with a younger man.

>> how will fans walk away? will they be cheering?

>> i hope when people read the book they'll feel as though -- i hope they have cried, i hope they laughed and i hope they have a lovely, lovely time reading it.

>> well, i think we should make a cheers to bridget and her new life.

>> definitely. cheers.

>> cheers.

>> and here's to being --

>> just as you are.

>> cheers.

>> and we have another secret to spill. daniel cleaver, bridget 's boss will be making a few guest appearances in this book and you'll be very surprised to find out why. so we're not exactly spilling the secret.

>> he was a cad.

>> he was. but he has turned out to be a pretty good guy.

>> you read the book?

>> i loved it. i loved her. she's smart, she's funny and she makes us all feel like we're good just the way we are.

>> okay. helen fielding will be here on wednesday. if you want to go to today.com rsvp for the second google hang out, helen fielding on november 4th and connect with other fans like us. coming up, steals and deals at 8:38.

>> and tony bennett live in