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Bridgerton is one of the most successful shows of Netflix and for good reason. But while we wait for season 2, we only have cast stories and fun little trivia to tide us over. From meeting Julie Andrews to wearing wigs that need their own minibus, here are some behind the scenes stories.
Soon after being cast in Bridgerton, its stars Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor were invited to have a six-week crash course on the Regency lifestyle. They immediately started learning everything that would have been important for the early 19th-century upper class. What kind of classes did they have?
Phoebe and Regé’s timetable was packed with activities like horse riding, etiquette training, and dance rehearsals. Phoebe also took piano lessons, while Regé had boxing training. “It was very overwhelming," – Dynevor recalls. – "But getting to immerse yourself completely in that world before we started shooting was such a luxury.” Dancing was one thing that did not go too smoothly for her.
Regency romance is all about charged encounters in crowded ballrooms, so the actress was very nervous because she “has never been a particularly good dancer”. But the amazing choreographer, Jack Murphy not only taught the Bridgerton cast members how to dance for the time period but tailored dance styles to each character. There were some changes, though.
Not all of the dance elements were historically accurate, though. Moreover, the cast rehearsed to Stormzy, Beyoncé, and Rihanna to bring modern energy to the routines! Phoebe said that the dance rehearsals really helped her and Regé find Simon and Daphne's mesmerizing chemistry. Here’s what he had to say about it.
"We just spent loads of time in the studio. And we just got time to play and sort of form a connection," said the actor. But it wasn’t just that – the cast of Bridgerton also worked with an intimacy coordinator. How did her on-screen partner feel about it?
And Regé-Jean Page agrees that working on steamy scenes with a script, be it physical or verbal, helped the actors feel safe and secure in what they were doing, and to perform at their best. Thanks to this preparation, the actors felt really comfortable while filming the intimate scenes. And it came into play on Phoebe’s first day on set.
Amazingly, the very first scene she and Page shot together was that incredible heated scene in the library. If you're a fan of the show, you know exactly which scene we are talking about! Surprisingly, it was the same for Jonathan Bailey.
His first day on set included Anthony and Siena getting busy in the park against a tree! Jonathan joked that he got to know the makeup department "intimately" on day one because they had to "de-shine" his bottom. Well, we suppose that starting the shooting with such a scene allowed them to get all the first-day jitters out of the way. Let’s take a trip to memory lane right back to casting and auditions.
Nicola was the first person to be cast in the show, and she was offered the job after just one audition! The actress confessed that when she auditioned for the role of Penelope, she had no idea her character was going to be revealed as Lady Whistledown! So, how did she find out?
So after getting the job, Nicola read the Bridgerton books, specifically Book 4, which is primarily focused on Penelope. She was thrilled to know the details of her character’s story. And although the show doesn't stick closely to the books, Nicola said knowing that she was Whistledown greatly influenced how she acted.
"It means that she's this crazy active listener all the time." – she explained. – "She's the most low-status character in any room, but she's the most high-status as well." But what made her super-excited about being a member of the Bridgerton cast is that the narration for the sharp-tongued Lady Whistledown was provided by none other than Julie Andrews. Yet her cameo wasn’t how you’d expect it to be.
Nicola literally burst into tears when she got the news! However, she hasn't had an opportunity to meet the legendary actress in real life yet, as Julie's recording sessions were all done virtually. Originally there was a plan for her to visit the set or join the press tour for Season 1, but obviously, that didn't happen because of the global lockdown. Moving on to the production of the show and the brilliant dresses and wigs.
They say that at one point there were more people working on the set of Bridgerton than it took to create Star Wars! Each episode of the period drama cost around 5 million pounds to make! Just to name a few, the wallpaper cost around a thousand pounds a drop, and there were 30 giant bespoke rugs made for the show! How long did it take for even more complicated things like the sets?
The carpenters spent four months just making the fireplaces and windows, and, of course, it took a lot of time, skills, and resources to create the thousands of dazzling costumes. There were over 7,500 pieces of wardrobe used in season one, which were all made from scratch specifically for Bridgerton! That must have taken an insane amount of time.
It took nearly nine months to create them. For Daphne alone, there were 104 pieces made (but her favorite is from Episode 8 when Daphne is getting her portrait done.) Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick led a team of over 200 people, including pattern cutters, a corset maker, a tailoring department, an embellishing department and embroiderers. Find out the inspiration behind these costumes.
Explaining the costumes, Ellen said they were re-imagining the classic Regency look in an entirely new way. The eye-catching ensembles on the show are "more luxurious and more sumptuous" than they were in the 19th century, and they used modern color palettes, fabrics, and techniques. Something as insignificant as a corset was paid a lot of attention.
All of the corsets used on Bridgerton were made by the iconic designer, Mr. Pearl who works with Madonna, Beyoncé, and the Kardashians. By the way, there are hidden details in the Queen’s look. Queen Charlotte had a truly amazing wardrobe both in real life and in the Bridgerton series.
Her collection of wigs was almost as prodigious as the sea of gossip she loved to wade in. Actually, she has a different wig and a different dress for every single scene she is in! So, each look is different. And during the filming of the Ingenue Ball, actress Golda Rosheuvel had to wear two wigs to bring the queen’s look to life. Incidentally, it took her a lot of time to get ready.
“It takes about half an hour to get the costumes on, and it takes two people to put me in.” – she shared. – “I’m even double-corseted.” There were a couple of times where she had to ask somebody to loosen her corset because she felt like she was going to faint. That’s the reality of looking good in Regency times! Surprisingly, getting into the outfit wasn’t enough.
Also, Golda had to ride to set in her own minibus, separately from the other cast members. Why? Because she needed a ceiling that was tall enough for her wigs, which often measured well over two feet in height. Speaking of height, another actress had a couple of problems.
Nicola Coughlan also spent about two hours getting into Penelope's wig and getting "ball ready" before filming each scene. The actress is pretty short in real life, so originally, she was supposed to wear heels so she would be "eye-level" with her co-stars. What changed?
But Nicola fell over several times while wearing them, and one time she tripped while holding a parasol! So, they had to get rid of the heels after the very first day of Nicola wearing them. The male actors didn’t have it too easy either.
And Jonathan Bailey also had to drop some details on his character’s appearance. He was sure that Anthony should have a mustache and sideburns. The showrunner actually let him do it, but during the actual shoot they took it off. If you thought nature would go easy on the filming at least, you’re wrong.
Incredibly, over a hundred practical locations around the south and west of England were used. “Even though we’re creating a new world,“ - explained production designer Will Hughes-Jones, - “We are seated in history.” The first ball hosted by Lady Danbury was filmed on location at the Bath Assembly Rooms, where actual Regency balls took place at the beginning of the 19th century. Let’s take a look at one particular scene between Simon and Daphne.
And the scene when Simon and Daphne kiss in the garden maze was filmed on location at Hartfield House — the crew searched for months for the perfect place for this moment. The episode where Simon explains to Queen Charlotte that he loves Daphne was filmed at Lancaster House in London. The scene, however, was rushed for a peculiar reason, and it involves a real-life queen.
And guess what – the cast and crew had very limited time to shoot the scene because none other than Queen Elizabeth II needed the space! There’s also a cute behind-the-scenes story about the day they were filming this fabulous Queen’s garden party.
There were stalls everywhere, cakes, decorations, and ladies in gorgeous frocks. It was summer, but right in the middle of shooting the scene, the wind began blowing, flattening the hedge. So, the assistants had to covertly stick the roses back into the hedge before they were all blown away. We have to talk about the talented cast next.
Luke Thompson, who plays Benedict, is a Shakespearean actor at heart. He is a fencer, knows stage combat and is highly skilled at the piano, has a tenor voice range, and can draw amazingly well! As a wrap gift for Season 1, he drew everyone's portraits. Phoebe Dynevor claims they deserve to be framed, and Regé-Jean Page proudly displays his portrait in his home. Thompson isn’t the only one who is so gifted, by the way.
Their co-star Sabrina Bartlett, was going to be a ballet dancer before turning to acting. But when she was cast as the audacious soprano Siena Rosso, it turned out she has a naturally gifted voice! Despite her seemingly natural talents, Sabrina revealed on Instagram that she actually had to learn to sing for the role and why it is that she has to take lessons.
"Far from perfect but enjoyed the experience so much (no matter how many cats I set off or glasses that may have exploded)" – she joked of the process. She took lessons at the Royal Opera House, and we should say her voice is impressive! Apart from the grueling lessons, filming wasn’t that hard what with some of them being unintentionally hilarious.
Surprisingly, the horses in the series were mostly pulling completely empty carriages down the streets of London and through the English countryside. And the carriage scenes with the cast were filmed on a sound stage. The actors would deliver their dialogue, while three members of the crew would shove the carriages forward to give the illusion that they were moving! It made things really hard for Simon’s scenes.
Regé-Jean Page found it really hard to "keep a straight face" while filming these moments! Well, he wasn't the only one. And Jonathan Bailey claims that the funniest scenes to film were when Anthony and Daphne are riding horses together.
The actor recalled that everything went fine – until they said “Action!” Apparently, the horses weren’t in the mood for filming... They started going backward, while Jonathan and Phoebe tried to deliver their lines, but eventually, both actors were simply crying with laughter! He wouldn’t have been in that particular scene, though if it wasn’t for fate.
But things would have gone really differently if Jonathan had gotten the role he had initially auditioned for. Jonathan had actually auditioned for Simon! He recalled, “And they said, ‘Have you thought about Anthony? We’re gonna send you some scripts to read because we think you might be an Anthony.’” Find out if the cast had to go through some other kind of training.
The rest of the cast also took advantage of the pre-shooting training. Claudia Jessie shared that they had, among other things, amazing historians on set to consult with, and a voice and dialect coach to help them talk like the 19th-century upper-class. However, not every Bridgerton actor was equally enthusiastic about the training.
Jonathan Bailey revealed that he asked to avoid training with the fight coordinator as much as he could! Surprisingly, he did the same with dance rehearsals. Like his character, Anthony didn’t have to dance in the series yet, Jonathan was allowed to skip dance classes! And speaking about dancing…
Of course, Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page knew quite a lot about their characters and their relationship from the scripts. But the showrunners wanted them to already have that special connection before the filming of Bridgerton started! How did they achieve that?
And a great help in creating Simon and Daphne's mesmerizing chemistry were the dance rehearsals. Actually, it was kind of a side effect to prepping for the dazzling ball scenes! Phoebe Dynevor revealed that the long hours in the studio drew the actors closer to each other.
"We just spent so much time sort of getting the moves right and dancing and dancing to this modern, fun music. And we just got time to play and sort of form a connection." Well, this Regency dance crash course clearly worked: Phoebe and Regé brought incredible chemistry to the screen! But it wasn’t the last challenge they had to face.
One of the reasons why Bridgerton has captured so many viewers’ hearts is its elaborate empire-waist dresses, extravagant rhinestone-encrusted gowns, embroidered suits, feathers, and finery. But all these regal-looking costumes can hardly be called comfortable to wear! And that wasn’t all! There was also a corset, a wig, sometimes also a crown and a feather headpiece! One actress had a tough time even sitting down.
Nicola Coughlan revealed that it was extremely hard to walk in her debutante dress (and totally impossible to sit!). However, she still loved it because the look was simply phenomenal! Bridgerton depicts how uncomfortable the body-hugging undergarments were. Wearing them all day long was a tough experience. That wasn’t the only thing that made acting hard.
Oh yes, wigs were another detail that sometimes made filming the show unbearable. Nicola Coughlan recalled that her head was all covered in a special kind of wig glue, and her own hair was all wet underneath it all. Not the nicest experience in the world, right? It was the same for the men too.
And, if you think that the men were happy about their costumes – you’re wrong. Jonathan Bailey complained that he felt uncomfortable wearing his dance belt and white trousers “which can be quite unforgiving”. And now we’ll talk about the most unexpected challenge the Bridgerton cast had to face.
When the actors bring to life characters who are loved by millions, they often feel quite nervous about it. Amazingly, most of the cast didn’t know about the popularity of Julia Quinn’s novels! But little by little they grew to understand it. Well, Nicola Coughlan did the bravest thing of all.
She was the first one cast in the show, so after getting the job, the actress read the Bridgerton books. Moreover, she "went lurking on the fan forums online" and discovered the huge fandom behind the series. Nicola also realized that the fans really loved Penelope which wasn’t a blessing for her.
So she felt a lot of pressure because she didn't want to let them down! "They really wanted Emma Stone to be cast, so I was like 'I'm really sorry that it's me!'" – she shared. Fortunately, when the casting was announced, the die-hard fans approved. By the way, Coughlan's forum-mining came in rather useful for the other cast members.
Phoebe Dynevor says they considered Nicola “the spokesperson for the Bridgerstans”, and turned to her if they had any fan questions. However, Phoebe herself chose to avoid the forums. And now it’s time to reveal the most challenging thing that the actors had to face as cast members of the show.
We the audience might consider the show to be the perfect way to escape into another world. But can its cast actually advise their families to watch it? The abundance of intimate moments definitely made things a little uncomfortable for the 25-year-old Phoebe Dynevor...
Fortunately, her parents are both in the entertainment industry. “They know how hard I worked, and how much it meant to me getting that role," she shared. "But not my grandparents. And with my younger brother… well, it's awkward." Did Regé-Jean Page go through a similar experience?
So, when Phoebe watched the series with them, she kept the remote in her hand the entire time! And Regé-Jean Page shared that one of his cousins had to make “a bunch of tactical cups of tea” while watching the show for “no particular reason”! It didn’t help much in the end.
She just felt the urge to leave the room and put the kettle on – but it didn’t really help her, because Simon and Daphne know how to have fun in the library, in the study, on the grass… Well, you know. But a lot of people enjoyed watching the show and when we say a lot, we mean a lot!
In its first weeks “Bridgerton” was watched by 63 million households. It is the fifth most popular Netflix release of all time, and about three times more popular than season three of ‘The Crown’. Such a successful debut was a surprise to a number of critics, who weren’t favorably disposed towards the period series upon the first season's trailer release. One woman in part can be held responsible for so much love.
Despite their disapproval, when the show first aired on Christmas day, it was an instant hit! You may call it a proper start for a show that is run by the highest-paid producer on television, Shonda Rhimes. She’s the mastermind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder. This, in turn, can help the newest Netflix period drama’s case.
All have run for multiple seasons and some are still on, which instills hope that Bridgerton may meet the same fate. It’s the first collaboration between Netflix and Rhimes, who signed a reported $150 million deal with the streamer. Why was she so interested in this show, though?
It turns out, Shonda Rhimes was passionate about getting the rights to them and bringing the story to the small screen. "I remember, I was almost scaring people," she shared. "Like, 'We have to get these crazy romance novels, and they're really interesting!'" Does she stick to the said novels, however?
The show doesn't stick closely to the books, so the cast, just like the audience, is pretty much kept in the dark about the plotlines for season two. According to Nicola Coughlan, Rhimes is "keeping everything super, super-secretive"! It so for a good reason, don’t worry.
Nicola recalled, “[Rhimes] said, “Trust me, the cast, we’ve been speculating heavily. I text Claudia Jessie a lot and ask, ‘What do you think is happening?'” But the cast agrees that they would love to have seven more seasons. What is up with the 2nd season, by the way?
The show’s strong ensemble cast includes Julie Andrews, Regé-Jean Page, Freddie Stroma, Golda Rosheuvel. It was reported that the second series production was scheduled to begin last summer. But the lockdown obviously delayed that, and the filming has now been pushed to spring of 2021. We would like to know a bit about the plot, though as we wait.
If season 2 were to follow its first season’s production schedule, we may expect it to come out around Christmas 2022. What will it be about? The Netflix hit show is an adaptation of the bestselling novel series “Bridgerton'' by author Julia Quinn. It consists of eight books, which focus on the lives of each Bridgerton sibling one by one. So does that mean we might get seven-eight seasons?
And the show’s creator Chris Van Dusen confirms these big plans. In an interview with Collider he said, "This being a family of eight children and there being eight books, I would love to be able to focus and really tell stories and love stories for all the Bridgerton siblings." Which characters are going to be in focus in the next season, then?
The opening season is based on the first book “The Duke and I”, which mainly dwells on the relationship between Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke, Simon Basset. And the second one in particular, “The Viscount Who Loved Me” is dedicated to Daphne’s brother Anthony. Well, let’s take a guess at the next season’s plot.
If the Netflix show sticks to the books the potential second season of Bridgerton will deal with Anthony’s twists and turns in love. Lord Bridgerton, played by the charming Jonathan Bailey, becomes the year’s most eligible catch for the young ladies of high London society. He himself had a catch, though.
He picks a certain woman as a candidate for checking all the boxes as a good viscount’s wife and at the same time sparing him from falling in love with her. The only one in the way of their union is the woman's sister, who really hates Anthony’s womanizing ways and vows to prevent her only sister from marrying him. That’s not all.
Actually, there are hints for future events scattered throughout the first season. Die-hard fans who have read the Julia Quinn novels already know that the family patriarch, Edmund Bridgerton, died suddenly after he was stung by a bee. Doctors of the Regency era didn't know anything about allergic reactions. This, in turn, favors the arguments behind Anthony’s intentions.
Edmund was only 38 years old, so his mysterious death left a profound mark on his eldest son. Because of it, Anthony was convinced he will die young, too! That’s why he spends his life as a rake, purposefully evading commitment and love. However, as the head of the family (and scorned by his former lover Siena), he finally decides he should marry for duty – but not for love.
However, not everything goes as planned. Many fans agree that this will definitely be the major plotline of Season 2, because in the first installment there were several bee references, alluding to this family-defining tragedy. Like the bee on Benedict’s collar and the bee sitting on the Bridgerton house door knocker. Other than these hints, there is one couple we would like to see the most in season 2.
Based on the title of the show and the book series it’s fair to suggest that besides Anthony, all the members of the Bridgerton family will appear again in the follow-up season. Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, is interested in exploring her character being a wife and a mother further on. There’s another character we might see.
We definitely expect to see Eloise, played by Claudia Jessie, debut in society, which she started to get prepared for in the previous season. Also, we would be getting some appearances from the quirky side characters, the Featheringtons. In fact, there’s no way season 2 would do without them since some pretty serious cliffhangers around this family were left at the end of season 1. A couple of characters that weren’t well-received initially might be appearing too.
And it would be nice to see the return of the characters who added spice to the plot too. Like Lady Danbury portrayed by Adjoa Andoh and Queen Charlotte by Golda Rosheuvel. It’s worth noting that the initial casting of these magnificent actresses, as well as Regé-Jean Page and Ruby Barker as Marina in the period drama set in 1813, wasn’t that well-received. Don’t fret because their knight in shining armor was none other than…
That audience attitude was whipped by Nicola Coughlan’s response on Twitter: “Remember people were trying to downvote the show on IMDB cos it was so diverse? You can’t downvote us being Netflix[’s] fifth-biggest original release ever.” Looking at Nicola’s quick-witted reaction it seems like the young star picked up a lot from her character who we might see again because...
To our delight, the novel series proves that Penelope Featherington is a recurring character. Nicola Coughlan said, "I’d love to go on that journey with her, to see how she’s changed. I’d really love to come back because I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface". This next character is also someone who has to appear for the show to continue.
Moreover, the actress is excited about Penelope’s bestie’s upcoming debut and their friendship development in general, since by and large Eloise is Penelope’s main source of the information that she spills in the Society Papers under the name of Lady Whistledown. If Lady Whistledown stays for a second “Bridgerton” season, we will hear the enveloping voice of the incomparable Julie Andrews, who reads the news on the Society Papers. What might actually happen in season 2, though?
Will we see more of Simon and Daphne's relationship? Much to the regret of this lovely couple's fans, they will no longer be the show’s main characters. Their conflict is resolved, and they presumably go on to live happily at Clyvedon Castle and might even have more babies! We might see them again for a different reason maybe.
However, we still expect them both to return as important characters in season two. Phoebe Dynevor revealed that she expects her character to have some sort of revenge on her brother. “I want to see Daphne get involved in Anthony's love life a bit, as he sort of meddled with hers quite a lot. I think that will be fun.” The showrunner did give us some concrete teasers.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen appeared to confirm that the second season won’t focus solely on Anthony’s search for a perfect spouse. "I think we've done some work in season 1 to set up other characters.” – he shared. – “We're really exploring Benedict as well, and Colin, and Eloise's relationship." They aren’t the only ones who are being shown.
He also revealed that he would like to explore the stories for all the characters, not just the Bridgertons – from the Featheringtons, who are “amazing and so fun to write”, to Lady Danbury's stories, and Queen Charlotte's. Lady Whistledown’s storyline might be the most interesting, though.
And let’s not forget that only the audience knows the true identity of Lady Whistledown! However, Penelope might just reveal herself to her best friend. If this happens, her relationship with Eloise will change drastically. “I’d hate to think of the fallout that’s gonna happen with Eloise,” shared Nicola Coughlan. “That makes me feel like ill inside.” She does have another reason for getting back to filming the show.
The actress also revealed that she would love to come back to filming as soon as possible because there’s so much more to discover about her character. In the books, Penelope’s romantic storyline is only introduced in the fourth novel. But nothing is set in stone!
The TV adaptation has already deviated somewhat from the source material, so we hope to learn whether she and Colin get together soon. By the way, Julia Quinn, the author of the Bridgerton books was involved in Netflix's reimagining of her stories as a consultant.
She's also supportive of the show creators’ decision to take creative liberties with her novels' content. "I was not going to tell Shonda Rhimes how to make television." – she revealed. - "It's not a word-for-word adaptation, and it shouldn't be. I never expected that.” While the show is no stranger to romance let’s see if the cast is.
As for details about her private life, we know that in 2013-2014 Phoebe was dating recruitment executive, Simon Merrill. The couple even went around Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam together. “He’s half Thai,” she said of Simon at the time. “And we went to his family’s village. His grandma, aunt, and uncle are still there, and it was a really incredible experience.” She was later linked with another actor known for his role in period dramas.
And three years ago Phoebe was rumored to be dating actor Sean Teale, known for the series ‘Reign’. Since they still have their pictures together up on their Instagram, they’re either really good exes or were just friends the whole time. But, as of now, the actress seems to be single. What about her on-screen brother?
The 32-year-old actor plays a straight character on the show, but he is gay in real life. The actor hasn't revealed if he is single or has someone special in his life. But in a 2019 interview, Jonathan admitted that although he has always been inquisitive about open relationships and how that works, he would want a long-term committed relationship. Can the same be said for this next actress?
She doesn’t use any social media and prefers to live a quiet life with her partner Joseph, who is a sound engineer. The couple has renovated a houseboat, so they can glide up and down the canal network of their hometown, Birmingham. But, the idea of marriage and children isn’t at the front of her mind for the moment. How about the third Bridgerton brother?
The third Bridgerton brother is portrayed by 23-year-old Luke Newton. He currently resides in London, with his girlfriend, stage actress Jade Davies. According to Instagram, it seems like the couple has been together since mid-2019. Moving on to one of Anthony’s conquests.
Since her TV debut in 2014, the actress has been a part of many hit shows, including ‘Poldark’, ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Knightfall’. Sabrina is in a relationship with the British actor and producer Tom Grieves, although she prefers to keep it low key. According to her Instagram feed, the couple has been together for about four years.
We had no idea that a real queen was involved in the filming of Bridgerton. Do you think Queen Elizabeth II watches it? We wonder who the newest cast additions are going to be for season 2. How are you going to pass the time as you wait for season 2? Maybe by reading the books or rewatching the show? Let us know.