Interview: Bridgerton Cast and Showrunner Tease Season Two

BridgertonToday, Netflix drops the second season of its highly-anticipated series Bridgerton. Inspired by the best-selling novels by Julia Quinn, the series follows the Bridgerton siblings in each of their quests to find love in Regency London. Season two focuses on Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) looking for a wife. When the viscount decides that love is not important in his match, things do not go as he expected.

Recently, a press conference was held to discuss season two that SciFi Vision took part in. During the conference, creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen answered the site’s question about balancing what to pull from the books versus creative additions when developing the characters. To the showrunner, who fell in love with the books as soon as he read them, there were certain things he wanted to get right. “I think that with any adaptation, there's always going to be differences from the source material,” said Van Dusen. “What was important, for me, was to really stay true to the essence of these books. I wanted to capture the spirit of this family that loves each other. There's so much love apparent within this family. I wanted to capture the banter between the siblings, the brotherhoods, and the sisterhoods that you see. I think those were the most important things to get right, and I think we were able to do that on the seasons.”

BridgertonDuring the conference, another question SciFi Vision had submitted was answered, where a few cast members talked about the parts of the characters they found the easiest or most difficult to connect to. For Polly Walker, who plays Lady Featherington, it was a couple of things. “I think it's her heart,” said the actress, “that her emotions are always quite clear, even though she [has] a great game face...[and] her sense of humor, I think.”

Luke Newton, who plays Colin Bridgerton on the series, said that he, like his character, stays quite relaxed about stressful things. “I very much don't get stressed very easily, I don't think,” said the actor.

Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte, said that she really connected with the filming locations, such as Wilton House, one of her favorites, about which she said, “Within all the opulence and the grandeur of it, it just feels really normal.”

Bessie Carter, on the other hand, who plays Prudence Featherton, said that she had a hard time connecting to the fact that her character is the eldest of three children, because she is an only child in real life, as well as her character’s “horrid” side. “I just find her hardness and her meanness really hard,” added the actress. “That's why I love it, because obviously, that's fun, to push yourself.”

Although they couldn’t give away spoilers, the cast and showrunner did of course tease some of what is to come for season two. Van Dusen told the press that this season, fans should expect “more steam, more scandal, more sex, [and] more sexy moments.”

When asked about his character’s journey this season, Bailey talked about the viscount looking for a wife. “He decides he's going to commit to finding his viscountess, but he's taking love out of the equation…He's finally going to fulfill his duty, and we get to explore, I think, alongside lots of things in this season, his vulnerabilities and his anxieties and hopefully understand some of his behaviors from the past.”

Obviously, Anthony’s idea to not bring emotions into his quest for a wife does not go as he expected. New to this season, Simone Ashley, who plays Anthony’s love interest, Kate Sharma, talked about how Kate and Anthony challenge each other. “I think, at the beginning, they kind of really grind each other's gears, because I think they recognize parts that they may see as flaws in themselves in the other person,” said Ashley. “They kind of mirror each other a little bit…I think it's the first time that they've been opposite someone that has the patience with them, that doesn't give up, that doesn't walk away and gives them a chance to show what's beneath that surface that they kind of portray in front of everyone else. Whenever Kate and Anthony are alone, something always happens, because it goes deeper and deeper…It's incredibly passionate.”

Also new to the season is Charithra Chandran, who plays Edwina, Kate’s sister, who is also a potential prospect for the eldest Bridgerton brother. The actress described the second season as “thought-provoking.”

Luke Thompson, who plays Anthony’s brother, Benedict, said that his character is trying to find himself creatively this season. “I think a lot of his journey is about trying to find what it actually means to really be creative and to sort of take yourself as your own measure and not compare yourself to other people or to what's good,” the actor teased.

For Newton’s character, it’s not really about love this season either. The actor teased that he’s “sworn off women for the time being,” and is looking towards business pursuits. “He sees that [his brothers] have ambition and drive, and they have things that they focus on in their lives…[H]e's looking for what's next, really.”

Other topics of the conference, included the Pall Game, the difficulties in filming the dancing scenes, the magic of the sets, Kate’s corgi, Newton, and much, much more. The full transcript is included below!

Zoom Conference
Stars: Jonathan Bailey, Simone Ashley, Charithra Chandran, Luke Newton, Luke Thompson, Golda Rosheuvel, Polly Walker, and Bessie Carter
Creator and Showrunner Chris Van Dusen

March 21, 2022

Edited for clarity and length.

Season two is different from the book The Viscount Who Loved Me. Can you tell us a bit more about what fans can expect for season two?

CHRIS VAN DUSEN:   Yes, fans should expect a wild, wild ride in season two. I think we managed to take everything people fell in love with about this first season, put it into season two. It's just more. So, it's more steam, more scandal, more sex, more sexy moments, and it's an amazing season. It's a wild, wild ride, and I think we're back with an even bigger escape to 19th century Regency London this time around.

MODERATOR:   Jonny, tell us a bit about where we find Anthony this season.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   We know we find Anthony at a point where he needs to find a wife. He decides he's going to commit to finding his viscountess, but he's taking love out of the equation. So, what could possibly go wrong?


He's finally going to fulfill his duty, and we get to explore, I think, alongside lots of things in this season, his vulnerabilities and his anxieties and hopefully understand some of his behaviors from the past.

MODERATOR:   Charithra and Simone, how does it feel to join such a successful and huge production? Do you have any fun stories about how you were welcome to set?

SIMONE ASHLEY:   I think everyone was just so warm and welcoming, and it just felt really effortless, I would say, and really genuine. No one's really performative on this show. I think everyone's just genuinely such lovely, kind people that just want to bring out the best in one another. And what's so special about this show is that it just continues to keep growing this Bridgerton universe. So, I was just really excited and proud to join it really, and to be working with Charithra.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    I mean, the thing is, of course, it's like super nerve wracking to join a new show when there's an established cast, and you're new, but within a few hours of meeting everyone, it felt like we'd always been part of the family. And one of the most memorable moments was when Ruth [Gemmell], the wonderful Lady Bridgeton, looked at Simone, Shelley Conn, who pays Mary Sharma, and I, and she just kind of went, “It feels like you guys have always been here. I don't really remember a time that you weren't,” which I think she just sort of said it in passing. To me, that meant the world, because we sort of just managed to fit in, which is wonderful.

MODERATOR:   I'm glad you brought up family, because I want to talk to some brothers over there…Benedict and Colin are both in different places to Anthony the season. Can you tell us a bit about their journeys this time around? What do they both feel about the marriage mart?

LUKE THOMPSON:   I think Benedict doesn't really understand the marriage mart. Watching Anthony muddle his way through it is really useful for that. I guess that's what older brothers are for. But no, I think Benedict is more sort of trying to find himself creatively, this season…I think there's this sort of dichotomy that I can identify with definitely about being in a creative job, and you spend a lot of time either thinking that you're wonderful or that you're the worst actor in the world. And, actually, Benedict goes through that. He's sort of like almost at one point literally high on himself for a lot of the season and then also has all these doubts, and I think a lot of his journey is about trying to find what it actually means to really be creative and to sort of take yourself as your own measure and not compare yourself to other people or to what's good. Am I good? Am I bad? Like it doesn't really matter. Obviously, it feels like it does when you're in the thick of it. So, that's, I think, Benedict’s journey this season.

LUKE NEWTON:   Yeah, I think for Colin, after the scandal of last year, he's returned to town with some interesting facial hair and a tan, which was nice, and he's sworn off women for the time being. He's kind of looking towards business pursuits and he kind of wants to find his place within the family. He feels like his brothers, as much as they're very much not settled, he sees that they have ambition and drive and they have things that they focus on in their lives, and he's looking for his thing. He's done the traveling now. He's ticked it off, and he's looking for what's next, really.

MODERATOR:   We'll learn a bit more about Queen Charlotte and her own love story this season. Can you talk a little bit about that?

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Yeah, I think it's really important to see her humanity. I think it's important to see her vulnerability, and I'm so grateful that we have a queen that is three dimensional, that you see her in her gowns and her wigs and all the glorious opulence, but then you get to see her private life and what she's dealing with behind the scenes. To have that layer to play is really important and thrilling.

MODERATOR:   Bessie, how about Prudence’s marriage endeavors this season; how keen is she to marry, really, do you think?

BESSIE CARTER:   Well, she's desperate to get married. She's still really trying to secure a husband, because that is all these sweet young women had to do, which is heartbreaking. I think, this season, we see her trying even harder, and we watch her following her mother. Her mother's main prerogative is to get the girls’ futures secure. So, Prudence is just really trying to do what she's told. Yeah, she's still going for it, for sure.

MODERATOR:   Speaking of mothers, both Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) and Lady Featherington are working their matchmaking skills once more, this season, with slightly different agendas. How is Lady Featherington meddling this season, Polly?

POLLY WALKER:   I think she's still got the same sort of style. It's pretty direct, but obviously, it's fueled now by other factors, and there's a slight sort of desperation to it this time. So, she doesn't have the luxury to just [wait] for it to happen. She's looking at her watch. It's desperate times.

MODERATOR:   Let's talk a little bit about the excitement around the Pall Mall game. Chris, why do you think that scene is so beloved?

CHRIS VAN DUSEN:   When I first read these books, that scene stood out to me for so many reasons. It's quintessential Bridgerton. You're playing this amazingly competitive game in the most beautiful, luxurious estate out in the beautiful English countryside. I mean, it doesn't really get better than that. There's so much of this season about a game, and the game that's happening between Anthony and Kate all season, especially. What we see Kate and Anthony do on that Pall Mall field really signifies exactly what they're going through all season in terms of this amazing, amazing love story.

MODERATOR:   A question for you all. Pall Mall, which of you do you think would win at a game?

LUKE THOMPSON:   I mean, I did say me. I have been saying me to lots of people, and it feels sort of really smug now and probably not true. I think there probably would be lots of people who would be a lot better. I'm completely pulling back. I don't know.

BESSIE CARTER:   Why do you think you're the best?

LUKE NEWTON:   There was a time when we practiced, and we were all having a go. The grass was weirdly long to play Pall Mall in anyway. So, we were trying to get it in the hole at the end, which is like this high, by the way.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   It was like Quidditch.

LUKE THOMPSON:   Yeah, it was like Quidditch. It was strange.

LUKE NEWTON:   So, Luke was trying to do it, and he just put it between his feet and flicked it up, and it went straight through the hole, and it's on camera. So, hopefully there's a clip somewhere.

LUKE THOMPSON:   It's one of the best moments of my life. I think when I die, that will definitely flash. They’ll have quite a big montage. That will come back quite a lot.

LUKE NEWTON:   Since then, everyone has claimed you're the best.

LUKE THOMPSON:   Yeah, it's based on very little.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   Also, you have the power…You were like the Thor of the Pall Mall game. It's about three stages.

What was the hardest thing for each of you to shoot? There's obviously quite a lot of action. We've got horse riding; we've got fencing. We've got the giant wigs and the tight costumes. Does anybody want to have a go at what was the hardest thing to shoot?

LUKE NEWTON:   I find the dancing [difficult]. I like the dance rehearsals, and doing the dancing is great. It's when you've got the earpiece is one of the hardest things, because there's action going on. People will be talking. Particularly if you're dancing in the background of a shot, if you're not the focus of it, [it’s hard] to listen. So, hats off to the dancers, because they do it every take, and they do it perfectly. Then, I step in, and I feel like I've got two left feet, because I can't hear the music. I can hear everyone else talking.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   When you have a scene…do you have that click in your ear?

LUKE NEWTON:   I tried it without, and then they told me I was massively out of time. So, then, I put it back in, which is difficult. Then, you've got to change ears for side of camera, and it just becomes like, headphone choreography. It’s great.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    I had a moment where I think what was super scary is there were a lot of people on set that day, loads of supporting artists. Everyone was sort of staring at me, and you can't help but feel loads of eyes on you, and you're the action, and you have to do something. So, that was definitely quite scary to film. And I guess she's a bit scared in that moment, so it sort of makes sense.

BESSIE CARTER:   …I remember that exact moment. I actually don’t think I can say it, but I remember the moment, but actually, weirdly, [I] remember that moment and remember going. “That's amazing,” because actually we would all be looking at you, because you’re new to town.


BESSIE CARTER:   How useful is that? Yeah, I remember that.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   She was talking about another scene.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    A different scene.

MODERATOR:   You’re leading me very well to my next question about spoilers. Obviously, I relate highly as somebody who works at Netflix to the need to constantly keep your mouth shut around spoilers and not knowing what's a spoiler. It's very, very difficult. How easy or hard is it for each of you to not spoil your own show?

JONATHAN BAILEY:   I think it's helpful that it's based on an amazing set of books by Julia Quinn, because that sort of sets the bar for sort of what could be happening and then you can either Limbo or pole vault over it depending on how sort of creative and naughty you feel..

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Charithra apparently lies.

LUKE THOMPSON:   All the time.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Apparently she lies. What do you tell them?

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    I tell them that I'm a ghost for most of the season. Now, if it's true, no one will believe me. There's a double bluff.

MODERATOR:   How about outtakes? Who was the worst at breaking into fits of laughter.

BridgertonSIMONE ASHLEY:   Jonny.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Jonathan Bailey.

LUKE NEWTON:   Also you make the majority of us laugh as well. So, it's not just you corpsing and we’re all taking our jobs really seriously.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   He’s the joker.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   I might be the inversion of Anthony as a character. He’s quite sort of high, anxious, and isolated. When I see other people I’m just like [makes a face]. We've just been in a room doing a junket together and honestly, when the giggles start, it's terrifying. They can go on for days.

SIMONE ASHLEY:   You really have to reign him back and be like, “No, come on now.” Every time it happens, it’s like “No, no no.”

JONATHAN BAILEY:   It's true of this year and the season, I think it's what Polly was saying is that the stakes are just higher. It's a richer, more complicated world, so the scenes require a bit more commitment and the fine line between commitment and hysteria is is very, very thin, so you can find yourself giggling away.

MODERATOR:   …I wanted to ask each of you to describe season two in one word…I'm going to start from Luke Newton.

LUKE NEWTON:   I'm going to say, “tension.”

LUKE THOMPSON:   I'm going to say, “complex.” I'm not happy with that one.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Sisterhood.

BESSIE CARTER:   Betrayal.

POLLY WALKER:   Oh, I'm going to sort of echo Golda and say, “Family.” Boring, but true.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    Thought-provoking.



SIMONE ASHLEY:   I'll just go with romantic.

MODERATOR:   What was the biggest difference in telling season two's love story compared to Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé-Jean Page)'s in season one?

CHRIS VAN DUSEN:   I think the biggest difference [is] the characters that we're focusing on this season, and we're with Anthony Bridgerton and his quest for love, and he finds it, or maybe he does not find it with Kate Sharma. It's a new story. That was really part of the draw for me to sign up for a series like this as far as the ability to tell these close-ended love stories season after season without having to come up with all these fake obstacles to keep our main couple apart. We can actually get them to their happily ever after, and it can be a satisfying conclusion every season.

MODERATOR:   Simone, are there things you learned about yourself from playing Kate Sharma?

SIMONE ASHLEY:   Yes, I think I'm going to keep it simple. I think I learned to just own it a little bit more and to not be afraid of doing so. Owning my voice. That was scary in itself saying that, but I'm owning it.

MODERATOR:   Jonny, what is your favorite memory from filming season two? You can't say everything; you have to choose one.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   There are so many.

LUKE NEWTON:   The pressure’s on to include all of us [in it].

JONATHAN BAILEY:   I think, actually, it does include all of us, but it's a “Kanthony” moment, but it's the moment where they dance for the first time. The song has changed. It was to “Watermelon Sugar”…But they did a light shift, and so we sort of existed in a spotlight, and even though, obviously, we've all been there for series one, many of us, actually standing into a love story, having watched Phoebe and Regé so elegantly and gracefully tell their story. Me and Simone were so on the same page from the get go, because we were both experiencing stepping into that, and that was a really amazing moment, and of course with the [brothers and] the sisters and Ruth, who plays Mum, it really does feel like a family, and it is emotional. We become more and more emotionally invested in the experience of sharing it all together. In that moment it felt, for a character that is, you know, in need of a lot of -

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   It was that moment for everybody.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   Well, that's it. It felt like everyone in the room -

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   It felt like everything had come together in that moment.

MODERATOR:   Charithra, Edwina develops a really interesting relationship with the Queen this season…They're both incredibly strong women in very different ways. What was it like acting opposite Golda and getting to play that side of Edwina?

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    Oh, my goodness. Just such an honor. I think that, not to give too much away, but I really think that from my perspective, I brought what Golda and I have in our personal relationship to the Queen and Edwina. In this industry, I'm so new to it, and Golda really is kind of like a shining light. I can go to her for any advice, and she's so generous, and it sort of tracks our on-screen relationship.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Yeah. If I can, we discussed the scene with Tom Verica, who was the director, and I really wanted that scene to not be mother-daughter, or teacher-student. I wanted both of us to be senseis in that kind of teaching and sisterhood element of the relationship. I think we find two women, one at the beginning of her career in society, and another that has done it, been there, and is going through it. The balance and the equal energy that the two have in that scene, I think, is really, really beautiful, but it was really important to me for us to be equals in that scene.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    All I can say is game recognizes game.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Yeah, baby. Yeah. And Charithra is an exquisite young actress, and it was an absolute honor and pleasure to work with her.

MODERATOR:   Luke Newton, I'm going to direct this one to you. Bridgerton has so many diverse and amazing characters…If you could choose to be another character from the show, who would it be and why?

LUKE NEWTON:   I've already said this time and time again, Lady Danbury. She's absolute boss. I would play Lady Danbury in a heartbeat. Like, what a character? I actually saw Adjoa the other day for the first time since we wrapped, and I just hugged her and said, “Oh, my God, what an incredible job.” I think just [of] the power that Lady Danbury has in a scene entering into a room. One of my favorite memories is Lady Danbury, during the Pall Mall sequence…She just completely gets stuck into every situation she's in. So, yeah, definitely Lady Danbury.

MODERATOR:   Is everybody in agreement? Was there anybody else that they would like to play?

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    To be the most powerful woman in England? I want that power. I'm coming for your crown.


MODERATOR:   Luke Thompson, knowing that the show has already been renewed for a third and fourth season, how do you feel about taking the lead, if and when the spotlight potentially falls on Benedict's love life?

LUKE THOMPSON:   I'm really excited. It's a very nice show for not feeling too much pressure, I think, because each season, and each stage sort of molds itself around the new story and the new character. So, that’s not something we have to sort of live up to every season, because it's just a breath of fresh air each time. So, yeah, should it come? I'm really looking forward to it. And actually - we were discussing this earlier - I think there's something about the show where it doesn't feel like we're sort of sitting around in the wings waiting for our moment. It feels like it's such an orchestra; just because there are the two, three, four, whatever, solos that are in the forefront, it's such an ensemble effort, the show, and it's got such an ensemble feel to it, and it's so musical like that. It's so satisfying, just being in it. I don't feel like I'm sort of biding my time or anything like that. There's just something all the time; it doesn't feel like that.

MODERATOR:   I'm going to direct this one to you first Golda, and then I'd love to open it out. Does it take putting on your incredible costume in order for you to step into and embody your character?

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Yeah, I think it definitely helps. There's a process that the character has to go through to the finished product, and the costumes and the wigs and makeup and jewelry and all of that stuff is definitely, yeah, one of them.

MODERATOR:   I've spoken to Ruth before who actually said that it was harder to almost go into the voice. The accent. Would you agree with that?

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   It's quite easy for me to go into the voice. I mean, I know her so well. She's part of who I am and part of what I know. So, yeah, it's very comfortable for me, that character.

MODERATOR:   Bessie, I'm going to give this one to you. Can you share a surprising fact from filming that viewers would never guess?

BESSIE CARTER:   Absolutely. Something that's really surprising that they wouldn't guess. Well, I have said this before; I'll say it again, just because I still find it so wonderfully magic, the world of like the men and women who build the sets and build in the studio the months of prep before we even turn up. They built the interior to the Featherington house and the Bridgerton’s home and the Danbury’s house, now, this year, but what's so wonderful is that they're literally just next door to each other. So, we'll be sat having a cuppa, and then I'll need the loo, and someone will take me to the toilet, and I'll walk through someone's bedroom, one of the Bridgerton’s bedrooms, and I suddenly feel really odd. I’m walking through going, “I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be here. I shouldn't be here.” So, I suppose that's something that they probably don't know. It's just next door. I love that magic. I love that.

LUKE THOMPSON:   It's like The Truman Show, isn't it? I feel like you walk through rooms, and suddenly, you'll open one room, and you're like, “Oh, now I'm in the Danbury house.” But then other times you'll be like, “Oh no, this door doesn't go anywhere.” It's really such a magical place, that studio.

BESSIE CARTER:   And just behind is scaffolding and just plywood that says like “Block A,” which is all magic. It's all makebelieve.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   It's a place of make believe.

MODERATOR:   Polly, I'm going to direct this one to you. The female characters really drive the show, and they all have a strong sense of agency…Ladies, can you talk about how that power and influence shows up in all of your characters? Starting with your character, please, Polly?

POLLY WALKER:   I think, obviously, she's on her own. She doesn't have anyone else. She's the only one that's going to fight [in] her corner. She has no choice; she'd be on the streets. So, she's highly motivated. She's extremely intelligent and resourceful and incredibly loving, but as an outsider, always on the peripheries of the society. It's tough. So, I think she's incredibly strong and driven.

MODERATOR:   What about the other female characters? Does anybody else want to add to that question on how power and influence shows up in the characters?

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   I think it's really interesting, because it's created by a woman. The books are created by a woman. Shonda Rhimes is a woman, a very powerful woman. I think the female energy and drive through the books then leading into the show is a really important thing to be celebrated, All these women in the show, as Polly's said, have their own kind of identity, but also their own driven aspects emotionally and physically and intellectually, but at the core of it, love and humanity. Connection is at the core of each of these women, who kind of structure the storylines. Even, the Sharmas, as well, that energy, that family energy, that female energy, is really strong in their connection with love. Yeah, they're all kind of driving the storyline in some way.

MODERATOR:   So, this question is for the guys, whilst the women know themselves, the men try desperately to find themselves, which I think is -

LUKE THOMPSON:   Hopeless.

MODERATOR:   I mean, I don't want to say hopeless, but you said it. So, why do you think that is?

LUKE THOMPSON:   Well, I think, partly, I see it slightly as a brotherly thing…People who know you very well can see things that you can't about yourself. I mean, I think Colin's like a perfect example, in terms of the whole Penelope (Nicola Couglan) thing. Like, it's obvious to everyone else, and a lot of people are like, “Oh, but why can't he just see,” but the thing is, I mean, how many people do you know in life who [are like that]? That's just life, right? You can't see what everyone else can see. That's particularly the case, when it comes to brothers, I think, because you're made from the same stuff. You're literally sort of half one and half the other in sort of a horrible way. I think this is explored really successfully in the season. You're both the best person to talk to and the worst: the best, because you are made of the same stuff, but also the worst, because you're trying to break free from each other. So, it's actually really less about intelligence or knowing oneself. It's just they're very enmeshed. They're all part of the same pot, I guess.

LUKE NEWTON:   I guess, also, it may come from the lack of a father figure for these lads, because we talked recently about how [for] Benedict and Colin both, Anthony is part a father figure to them, but also a brother, and there's that conflict the entire time where they don't quite know how to treat him, particularly for Colin as well, because he's considerably younger, he looks up to him like a father. Then, when there's any sort of animosity between the two; he lashes out at him like a brother. So, it's like constantly going back and forth between the two. I think we've never had that father figure to look up to and see how he navigated his way, [through] his emotions, and what his love was like, shared with our mother. In terms of business and getting shit done, they're all quite good at that, but in terms of emotionally seeing what's in front of their face, particularly my character, it's like, something is right there, but you just can't see it. I guess that's the same for all of the men in the show, really.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   I think that's something that is brilliantly explored, and it speaks to sort of Anthony's isolation, but also the real trauma and sense of loss, which is obviously palpable throughout the family and is explored and should be continued to be explored. But just even Ruth's performance of understanding what it's like as a wife. There is emotionally functional man in a position of power in this series, and Anthony's the pessimist.

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   And all the women as well are on their own, just in terms of there being no men. Every single woman who has power, who has agency, who drives story, is on their own.

MODERATOR:   A question for you, Chris. This one's from SciFi Vision, US. How familiar were you with the books? And how do you balance what to pull from the books versus the scripts in character development? How far in advance in the books are you basing character decisions? Or are you not going by future books at all?

CHRIS VAN DUSEN:   I think, I fell in love with these books, the first moment that I read them. I think I read the first book in one night, the second book the second night, and so on, and so on. I was drawn to this world. And I think that with any adaptation, there's always going to be differences from the source material. What was important, for me, was to really stay true to the essence of these books. I wanted to capture the spirit of this family that loves each other. There's so much love apparent within this family. I wanted to capture the banter between the siblings, the brotherhoods and the sisterhoods that you see. I think those were the most important things to get right, and I think we were able to do that on the seasons.

MODERATOR:   Jonny and Simone, I'm going to direct this one to you. The music in Bridgerton has become infamous. The songs this season really touched on the theme of duty versus love and Kate and Antony storyline. Each dance really tells its own story. Can you talk a bit about how you go about playing those dance scenes?

SIMONE ASHLEY:   Well, I mean, we worked with an amazing choreographer, Jack Murphy. One thing that comes to mind is we gave a lot of the movements and the choreography intention and symbolism, I guess. And we kept on talking about planets. Do you remember in the first one in episode four? We kind of mimicked that in the last one.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   Yeah, I do. You have these two people being in orbit of each other, having not even met each other; their sort of love is something that's so expansive. Also, I think, what is amazing about these dance sequences and the music, [and] it's where Bridgerton really is at its best, [is] where every element of the creativity comes together. And of course, that's probably an element of pressure that you feel when we're doing it, but we also have our own private playlist. We talked about music a lot, because music is a really easy access point to identity and to love. I remember in my teenage years the sort of angst and the connection I'd feel with music lyrics. So, it makes sense that music is such an important part of this, and also a really brilliant and sort of groundbreaking way to connect the past with the present by doing these amazing covers. So, it's just sort of where the genius really lies.

SIMONE ASHLEY:   Yeah. Very well said.

MODERATOR:   When you say private playlists, just between the two of you?

JONATHAN BAILEY:   Just us, baby.


MODERATOR:   Okay, I'm going to stick with you two for this one. Kate and Anthony are both thrust towards growing up too quickly because of the grief they both experience. Now that the two can finally share their trauma and find healing together, what are some ways in which you think they could do that?

SIMONE ASHLEY:   I think I always say, “It takes one to know one,” and I think that really applies to these two characters. I think, at the beginning, they kind of really grind each other's gears, because I think they recognize parts that they may see as flaws in themselves in the other person. They kind of mirror each other a little bit, and they definitely challenge each other. I think it's the first time that they've been opposite someone that has the patience with them, that doesn't give up, that doesn't walk away and gives them a chance to show what's beneath that surface that they kind of portray in front of everyone else. Whenever Kate and Anthony are alone, something always happens, because it goes deeper and deeper.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   So, it's thrilling to think about what the future holds for them now that they have that.

SIMONE ASHLEY:   It's incredibly passionate.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   It is really passionate. And actually, the enemies to lovers trope is obviously one of the most enjoyable sorts of romantic tropes. And actually, what is that? That's about identifying something in you that you don't like about yourself in someone else, which means you have this similarity, which means it's passionate, it's complicated, and it's a shared identity. And as they start, there's more sorts of psychological nudity in this than literal, and I think that’s been quite exciting to play.

MODERATOR:   This one's for Simone and Charithra. In this season, we see traditions such as the Haldi ceremony being performed, what parts of South Asian culture were you excited to showcase through your characters? And how would you describe the impact and importance of seeing South Asian representation on screen?

SIMONE ASHLEY:   I think it's incredibly important. I think we are representing a minority of women in particular seen on television screens, and I think it's wonderful that more South Asian women can identify themselves within these characters. I remember filming the Haldi scene so well with you and Shelley. It was so much fun. It was so special for me to kind of even have that creative conversation together. I never really imagined we'd ever be on a set one day performing a scene like that. I learned so much as well, especially from Charithra. There was so much of our own personal experience that we kind of brought to those moments as well.

CHARITHRA CHANDRAN:    So, I think what's really fascinating about the Sharmas is that, essentially, they're immigrants. They're different, not because of their skin color, but because they come from a different background; they have different customs. So, then that’s sort of transplanted into London, and they're trying to fit in and be as successful as possible within that community. So, they're trying to be, you know, as “London” as possible. But what I love about the show, is that in moments of deep sadness and in moments of jubilation, you see them reverting back to their culture. So, when Edwina is particularly upset, what Kate does to make her feel better, is very traditional Indian things like sort of oiling your hair. And in moments of jubilation, like the Haldi scene, that's what you see. I think what it is, is that often when you're people of color, the stories that are told are that of trauma, but what you see here is something that they're owning, and you're seeing joy and pride in their culture. I think we're from a particular generation where there was often a lot of shame attached to being different, and you would want to assimilate to whatever the popular culture was at the time. By having this representation, I hope that young girls and everyone that looks like us feels like they don't need to do that, and they can own that part of themselves.

MODERATOR:   I'm really interested in hearing about this from everyone, if you'd like to answer, but I'm going to start with Polly and Bessie. I just want to know, what part of your characters’ do you have the easiest time connecting to?

POLLY WALKER:   For me, I think it's a couple of things. I think it's her heart, that her emotions are always quite clear, even though she, like I said, has a great game face. They're all pretty close. Her sense of humor, I think, I like to see. I see that in life.

BESSIE CARTER:   I'm an only child, so I find relating [hard], because we have a lot of things in us that people don’t understand. So, I genuinely found it quite hard. I think I'm doing the opposite of your question. I find it really hard to actually be like, “What would it be like to be the oldest sibling?” So, I found that really hard. I'm going to do the complete opposite and say what I find the hardest, which is actually sort of the horrid, horrid side. Her mean side, I actually find that quite far from me…I just find her hardness and her meanness really hard. That's why I love it, because obviously, that's fun, to push yourself. So I've done the opposite. There you go.

MODERATOR:   Absolutely fine. Creative license, you can do what you want with the questions. Did anybody else want to [go]? Golda, Luke Newton, Luke Thompson?

BridgertonLUKE NEWTON:   I think something that I noticed in watching season two, which I didn't really comprehend whilst shooting it, was how relaxed Colin is in stressful situations. There's so much going on. Sometimes I look at myself, and I'm like, “Why so relaxed, bro?” That's part of him, and I am like that. I very much don't get stressed very easily, I don't think. I feel like I take things on the chin, and I feel like I see that in Colin quite a lot throughout the season, not to mention his love of food as well, because we both love a biscuit.

MODERATOR:   Golda, did you want to say something?

GOLDA ROSHEUVEL:   Yeah, I was going to say, environment, I think, is really something that I connect to, especially the locations. I remember walking into Wilton House, which is one of my absolute favorite places to film. I remember in season one, I walked into the presentation room and just went, “Okay, I know where I am. I know who this person is.” And Charlotte stayed there, which is thrilling, and we filmed in the bedroom that she slept in. Also, it's run by a beautiful family. It's a family home. Within all the opulence and the grandeur of it, it just feels really normal. So, yeah, the locations for me are really, really lovely to connect to.

MODERATOR:   Okay, this is going to be my last question, but I don't think I can wrap this up without talking about one character that the book fans adore, which is Newton, Kate’s corgi. How did Newton settle into life in the ton? How was that?

LUKE THOMPSON:   He was very indifferent to me.


LUKE THOMPSON:   Yeah, it's the sort of worst, isn't it? You want them to either love you or hate you, don't you? The opposite of love is indifference, isn't it? That's the problem.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   Yeah, that's true.

LUKE THOMPSON:   He just didn’t care.

JONATHAN BAILEY:   If you had a little crumb of sausage in your in your palm...

LUKE NEWTON:   I find it quite frustrating, because I already have to share my first name with a fellow actor.


It's just like someone's either shouting “Luke” or “Newton,” and it's never me. So, thanks for that.

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