Collette, who is currently starring alongside Cameron Diaz in In Her Shoes, was unable to play BRIDGET JONES because she was appearing in a Broadway play, and Zellweger's subsequent success in the role convinced the WEINSTEIN brothers to cast her in Chicago - at Collette's expense.
The 32-year-old tells The Scoop, "I was doing Wild Party. I was offered Bridget Jones's Diary at the time, but couldn't do it because I didn't know how long Wild Party was going to play.
"Then the Chicago lot said, 'We want you to do this, don't take anything else. We want to put you on tape just as a formality. Catherine Zeta-Jones is really excited to work with you.'
"Then Bridget Jones's Diary came out and I guess the Weinsteins had their way."