Since it made its debut last December 2020, Bridgerton has been watched by a record 83 million households worldwide, making it Netflix’s biggest streaming series launched to date. Based on Julia Quinn’s literary universe, the series is a period piece with a fun modern twist. Viewers will be pleased to find each episode stocked full of colorful costumes, awkward sexual chemistry, and a unique introduction to the Regency era’s social scene.
Recognized as Gossip Girl meets Downton Abbey, showrunners Shonda Rhymes and Chris Van Dusen succeeded in creating a beautiful world with a cast full of complicated, relatable characters. And bringing those characters to life would not have been possible without the talent of the Bridgerton cast and crew. See what it took to make Bridgerton the “diamond” of the socially distanced season with these rare behind the scenes photos.
The Cast Went To a Regency Bootcamp
To get into character and better understand the Regency era where the show is set, all the cast was sent to undergo a month-long “Regency boot camp.” At the boot camp, they learned all about the proper etiquette of this early 1800s era. They were also given lessons in history, piano, horseback riding, pistol training, and most importantly, dance.
According to Regé-Jean Page, who plays the Duke of Hastings, the entire cast was “immensely well-prepared” before filming, which played a great part in the show’s success. Page elaborated, saying, “Once you’ve spent that many hours on the dance floor with someone, being close to someone, literally catching each other when you fall—and we did fall because we weren’t brilliant dancers—then a lot of it happens quite organically.”
Each Episode Cost £5million To Make
It’s really no wonder this Netflix period drama did such a good job portraying the Regency era’s rich society. According to sources, they really didn’t spare any expense. Since its release, it has been revealed that each episode cost a whopping £5million to create. That’s over 6.5 million U.S dollars per episode!
Their huge budget included the costs involved in creating the lavish set designs and the show’s many elaborate costumes. But as far as breaking the bank goes, we don’t think showrunners have much to worry about. Bridgerton has officially become the most streamed Netflix series to date so it looks like the dollars spent have long since paid off.
The Cast Members Weren’t Allowed To Take Home Any Souvenirs
Many big productions such as Bridgerton allow their cast members to take home souvenirs after filming. This normally includes things like set props, costumes, or accessories. But apparently, Bridgerton showrunners weren’t feeling as generous this time around.
The cast was not permitted to take anything home. Jonathan Bailey even tried to snag Anthony Bridgerton’s signet ring, but unfortunately, he was busted by the costume team and was forced to return it to set. At least this news leaves “this author” feeling hopeful for a second season!
7,500 Pieces of Wardrobe Were Made Specifically for the Show
One thing that impressed Bridgerton fans more than anything was the elaborate and colorful costumes worn by the cast of characters. They were not only spot-on ensembles for the Regency era, but their colorful designs also added an aesthetic detail to each and every scene. And this was no accident. Over 200 people were working behind the scenes on just the costumes alone, and the entire wardrobe took over five months to create.
The costumes for Bridgerton were designed by Ellen Mirojnick, who has worked on films such as Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction, and Wall Street. While most period dramas rent out pre-made costumes, Mirojnick opted to make all the costumes entirely from scratch. That’s over 7,500 pieces made just for season one alone.
Every Sex Scene Was Heavily Choreographed
Those who have seen season one in its entirety know that Bridgerton is full of sultry scenes. While it starts innocent enough, the romantic scenes pull a fairly quick 180, leading us right up to a sex montage set to an orchestral remake of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams.” And if that’s not intriguing enough, you’ll be interested to learn what exactly went down to create these moments.
“I feel really proud of those scenes honestly,” Phoebe Dynevor, who played Daphne Bridgerton, said in an interview with E! News. “We worked really hard at making them feel real.”According to showrunner Chris Van Dusen, the scenes “were heavily choreographed, much like an action sequence, like ‘Your hand goes here, your leg goes there.’ They were all really, really rehearsed.”
The Cast Worked With an Intimacy Coordinator
In order to perfect the show’s many saucy sex scenes, the cast had to spend time with a professional intimacy coordinator. This was to make sure every move could be perfectly choreographed and help the cast members feel more comfortable once they got to filming.
Phoebe Dynevor recalled her first day with the coordinator, saying, “She just came in with a bag of things. It was yoga balls and yoga mats and bits of cutout things and just all these tools that you can sort of use.” When asked about this experience, the actress went on to say, “We felt super safe and it just meant that when we got on set, we already knew exactly what we’re doing. We’d blocked it all so specifically. I knew exactly where his hand was going to go at what point.”
The Series Filmed in Many Familiar Locations
Bridgerton showrunners utilized over 100 on-site locations to bring their vision to life. And many of these locations might actually look familiar to eagle-eyed viewers. Hatfield House, for one, is filmed in Hertfordshire mansion, which was also used in Netflix’s Rebecca, Hulu’s The Great, and in the 2018 film, The Favourite.
Queen Charlotte’s scenes were filmed in London’s Lancaster House as well as in Wilton House, which can be seen in 2005’s Pride and Prejudice. Wilton House is also where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip meet the Kennedys in Netflix’s The Crown. Another location used both in Bridgerton and The Crown is Somerley House, which doubled as Charles and Princess Diana’s abode, Highgrove House.
All the Props Were Made From Scratch for the Show
Bridgerton show-runners were all about maintaining authenticity and staying true to the Regency era. And according to them, in 1813, furniture and house belongings always appeared clean and shining as if they were newly made. This meant, to get it right, everything had to be built from scratch.
And no detail was left out. Everything from the beds to the curtains was made entirely for the show. And everything was done with intention as well. Eloise Bridgerton’s room, for example, included her family’s signature blue color but also incorporated dark wood panels to reflect Eloise’s individuality. Her room also included a painting of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and a telescope.
Daphne Never Wears The Same Outfit Twice
The costume team was hard at work preparing over 7,500 pieces for Bridgerton’s first season. And 104 of those outfits were made for Daphne alone. Which personally puts our closets to shame. In fact, Daphne never wore the same outfit twice.
Not only that, but her outfits changed throughout the series as her character evolved. In earlier episodes, we see her wearing light blue, pastels, and floral print. Later in the series, however, her outfits include darker greens and velvet fabrics to show that she has become a woman.
The Stars Wore Padding During Some of Their More Racy Scenes
While the more intimate romance scenes sprinkled throughout the film look as real as it gets, the stars are actually covered up much more than it seems. In fact, many protocols have been put in place to ensure that no actor or actress was left feeling uncomfortable.
On top of meeting with an intimacy coordinator weeks prior to filming, the cast also wore special padding when filming certain scenes, which according to Phoebe Dynevor, is a surprisingly new practice. “I can’t believe really how new this all is, because it just changed the game,” she expressed, admitting that she has done sex scenes in the past that would not even be allowed on today’s sets.
Phoebe Dynevor Filmed a Sex Scene On Her Very First Filming Day
If first day jitters weren’t enough, day one on set had Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page already filming up close and personal. Their first scene can be found in episode six, where the pair end up getting intimate on the stairwell. So much for ice-breakers, right?
In reality, though, these scenes were rehearsed weeks earlier. “By the time we got to set, we knew what we were doing. We felt really comfortable. We knew each other, we’d already formed that relationship. We were very lucky to have all that time,” said Dynevor in an interview with Harper Bazaar.
The Color Palette Of Each Family Is Deliberate
It doesn’t take long to notice that every family depicted in Bridgerton has its very own color palette, which is mainly reflected in their clothing choice. For instance, the Bridgertons wear pale blues, greens, and silvers. This is to showcase the family’s high standing in society. After Simon and Daphne marry, however, Daphne starts wearing purple, which is a blend of her family’s colors, and Simon’s red and gold colors.
On the flip side, the Featheringtons wear bright yellows, pinks, and greens. This is to showcase them as outsiders. Penelope Featherington especially wears a fair share of yellow ensembles, which she herself expressed disdain for. The yellow is meant to represent her cheerful personality as well as clue us into the fact that she is someone others should be cautious around.
Some Scenes Were Inspired by ‘Pride and Prejudice’
Many of the more racy scenes were inspired by the 1995 BBC TV adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice. And there was one scene in particular that showrunners were caught mimicking. Specifically, the soaked shirt moment between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy was an understandable cause for inspiration.
“Obviously, Colin Firth coming out of that lake with the white shirt is seared in my mind,” show creator Chris Van Dusen told the Los Angeles Times. You can best spot the resemblance in episode six when Daphne and Simon decide to “celebrate” their nuptials outside in the rain. Just like Mr.Darcy, Simon gets caught in the rain wearing a white button-down shirt.
The Bridgerton and Featherington Homes were Built from Scratch
While some scenes were filmed in real historic buildings, mostly in Bath, England, others went for a much more challenging route. Namely, the rooms seen in the Bridgerton and Featherington homes, which were built entirely from scratch. “These are some of the biggest single rooms that I’ve ever built,” said production designer Will Hughes-Jones.
“Each Bridgerton and Featherington room had an individuality to it,” Jones continued. He also recommended paying close attention to details in each room. Objects such as fabrics, flower arrangements, and custom-made furniture all hold clues for the character living there. For example, the Bridgerton’s sitting room has a soft blue and cream color palette to represent their high regard in the social pyramid.
Queen Charlotte’s Afro Was Inspired by Beyonce
As you would expect from any queen, looking one’s best is of the utmost importance. And Queen Charlotte saw no exception to that rule. Not only is she never seen with the same gowned twice, but she is also never wearing the same wig. And they weren’t just any wigs. Each hairpiece was sure to outdo the last, and none failed to make the queen’s presence known.
Just like most things in this show, every hairstyle seen in the show had its own intention. Namely, for Queen Charlotte, her wigs were used to emphasize her African descent. The afro wig was actually based on Beyonce Knowles’ character in Austin Powers. According to hair and makeup designer Marc Pilcher, that particular wig was literally made up of five wigs sewn together. And the result speaks for itself.
Phoebe Dynevor Had a Full-Blown Panic Attack While Filming
With Phoebe Dynevor’s character, Daphne Bridgerton being deemed the “diamond” of the social season, it’s no wonder that all eyes were on her whenever she sauntered into a room. And it was this attention that caused Dynevor to feel a touch overwhelmed. In the third episode, “Art of the Swoon,” Daphne is seen arriving at a high society ball. Naturally, her presence commanded the attention of the room and all eyes were on her.
While Daphne might have appeared calm and collective, Phoebe was anything but. “That was one of the hardest scenes to shoot” Dynevor recalled. “Everyone has days where they wake up and feel like poo and don’t want to see people, let alone be on camera. It just so happened I was having one of those days then and felt so out of my comfort zone. Basically, I had a full-blown panic attack.”
Jonathan Bailey Grew His Own Sideburns for the Role
One 1800’s style that we are glad is long gone are the muttonchops adorned by the majority of noblemen of the Regency era. The Bridgerton boys naturally kept themselves up to date with the trends, and all three had lengthy sideburns of their own through the first season.
While actors Lukes Thompson and Luke Newton, who played Benedict and Colin Bridgerton, wore stick-on sideburns for their role, Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, decided to go full method. Bailey grew his own muttonchops, which he later admitted to regretting since the look was harder to maintain than he expected.
Corsets Were Created by Renowned Corset Maker Mister Pearl
If you thought the corsets worn by the Bridgerton cast weren’t the real deal, think again. The regal ladies and debutantes seen in the film went all out when it came to authenticity, right down to the corsets worn under their specially designed frocks. To create these chest lifting undergarments, showrunners called upon renowned corset maker Thierry Mugler, aka Mister Pearl.
If the name doesn’t ring a bell, this is the same designer who envisioned Kim Kardashian’s Thierry Mugler corset for the 2019 Met Gala. Mugler came out of retirement, especially to design Kim’s bejeweled latex ensemble and the look took him eight months to create.
Queen Charlotte Was Mixed-Race in Real Life
Bridgerton viewers might assume that showrunners employed a “color-blind” casting technique, which is the practice of casting without considering ethnicity, skin color, body shape, or gender. In reality, though, the cast was actually chosen in consideration of the era.
Queen Charlotte, played by Golda Rosheuvel was not only a real queen of Britain who ruled from 1744 – to 1818, but she is also widely regarded to be the first mixed-race member of the British Royal family. Many historians claim that her African lineage descendsed from Black Portuguese royals. Queen Charlotte was married to King George III, who historically did suffer from a mental illness as depicted in the show.
The Families Have Their Own Symbols That Are Used Throughout the Series
Both the Bridgertons and the Featheringtons have their own family symbols which are never directly referenced but can be seen sprinkled throughout the first season. “The Bridgertons have a bee which appears on certain parts of their costumes, and for the Featheringtons, it’s butterflies,” said Marc Pilcher who headed hair and makeup.
“We have a few little hair decorations that reflect this as well and we pop them in now and again,” Pilcher revealed. In addition to hairpins and jewelry, you can also see the symbols embroidered on the ensembles of certain cast members.
The Bridgerton Bee Holds an Important Hidden Meaning
Early on in the season we find out that the Bridgertons unexpectedly lost their loving father Edmund Bridgerton however they do not directly say how he passed away. According to the Julia Quinn novels of which the series is based, Edmund was killed by a bee sting.
The bee is referenced several times in the series and there is even a focus on the insect in both the opening and closing scenes. You can also spot the bee embroidered on Benedict Bridgerton’s wardrobe, both on his coat and collar.
Simon Basset Enjoyed the Boxing Scenes the Most
After seeing him in the ring doing his thing, it should come as no surprise to find out that Regé-Jean Page enjoyed the boxing scenes the most. He had to undergo a fair share of boxing lessons before he even began filming and as is expected, these lessons were also his favorite part of the “Regency boot camp” that the whole cast had to attend.
“It was really fun to do something so physical and exhausting and to get into visceral play with the other actors,” Page recalls when asked about his boxing training. “I got on really well with Martins Imhangbe, who plays Will the boxer, and we had a great time in those scenes.”
Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan Were Friends Before Playing Bffs
One friendship that Bridgerton fans can not get enough of is that between Penelope Featherington and Eloise Bridgerton. Viewers will be overjoyed to find out that this friendship extends beyond the screen and into real life. Actresses Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise, and Nicola Coughlan who plays Penelope actually knew each other before they became co-stars and the time they spent on set only brought them that much closer.
Here they are sharing an embrace with author Julia Quinn who wrote the books on which the show is based. Coughlan recalls this meeting saying, “When we met Julia Quinn she told us that these books are romance books, but one of the biggest love stories in it is Penelope and Eloise because it’s their friendship that sort of underpins everything.” #Peneloise forever!
Some Actors Are Much Older Than Their Characters
By now we are well aware that Hollywood often hires adult actors to play the role of teenagers. But it still surprised us to find out the real ages of some of the actors depicting our favorite ladies and lords. For one Nicola Coughlan just recently celebrated her 34th birthday.
That’s exactly twice the age of her character Penelope Featherington who is only meant to be 17 years old. Coughlan is no stranger to playing a younger character. In 2018 she began starring in the ongoing series Derry Girls, where she plays the role of Clare Devlin, a fifth-year high school student. Similarly, Claudia Jessie turned 31 last year, while her character, Eloise is also only supposed to be 17 years old.
Nicola Coughlan Lucked Out When It Came To Her Dance Sequence
The cast was responsible for learning many complex dance routines that they are seen enjoying while attending their high society balls. This took a lot of time and effort for each person to learn their moves. Nicola Coughlan however lucked out with one particular dance.
“The dances were planned out before anyone was cast and I was thinking it was going to be a waltz or something like that, but it just so happened that the dance they had for Penelope was an Irish jig,” Coughlan recalled. “It was a total coincidence. It’s called The Siege of Ennis and it’s a very famous dance that I’ve known since I was five years old.”
Daphne Bridgerton’s Look Was Based on Audrey Hepburn in War and Peace
If Daphne Bridgerton’s micro bangs and high cheekbones gave you total Hepburn vibes, then there is a perfectly good reason for that. Hair and makeup designer Marc Pilcher says he based her look off of Audrey Hepburn in the 1956 film, War and Peace.”If you look at the images for that film, obviously, it was made in the 1950s, even though, again, it was a Regency period film,” Pilcher explains.
The designer also felt it was important to reflect Daphne’s evolution through her hair. “In later episodes, we cut more sort of feathery bits just to sort of loosen it up even more,” he said. “We wanted to see a progression of the softness of her as we went through—that’s how they came about. Everyone’s talking about the bangs.”
Claudia Jessie Lived on a Canal Boat Before Taking on the Role
As if actress Claudia Jessie wasn’t cool enough, come to find out that the Bridgerton star lives on a canal boat. In fact, she was right in the midst of renovating her floating home when she found out that she landed the role of Eloise.
She recalled the moment saying, “I was painting the roof of my boat, and I remember at that time thinking, ‘You’ll get a job and everything will be fine.’ Then my agent called me and told me I got this role. I just went back to painting the roof but I thought, ‘This is a great day’. It’s such a pleasure to be a part of this show.”
The Featherington Sisters Are The Kardashians of the 19th Century
It quickly became an inside joke on set that the Featherington family were the Kardashian Klan of the 19th century. They even assigned a Kardashian alter-ego to each member of the family. “Penelope is old-school Khloé,” Coughlin says. “Remember Khloé used to say, ‘I’m the redheaded stepchild, and I have to do everything for everyone.’ I think that’s Penelope. But then, you know, Khloé came back and is flying high.”
Meanwhile, Prudence and Philipa have taken on the role of Kim and Kourtney. And let’s not forget Lady Featherington. According to Coughlan, “Lady Portia Featherington is a true Kris Jenner—the ultimate ‘momager.’ She’s very ambitious for her girls.”
Queen Charlotte’s Pomeranians Were as Feisty As Her
As we saw, Queen Charlotte had a special affection for her pet Pomeranians. And thankfully for actress Golda Rosheuvel, she had no trouble handling the furry actors on the set. And much like her character, the dogs also each had their own feisty personalities.
“I do very well with dogs, and these were very feisty so you had to calm them down a little bit, but they were excellent dogs,” Rosheuvel shared. She went on to say, “They were as rowdy as the Queen sometimes, but I loved that. I think they were all female, bar one. It’s a very female-driven show.” Way to keep up the female empowerment across species!
Not All of The Cast Warned Their Family Members About Racy Scenes
Watching sex scenes play out on screen with your parents in the room is no doubt awkward as heck. But can you imagine watching those scenes with them when you yourself are the star on screen? Yikes! For Bridgerton cast members, their opinions were split on how much warning they provided their family members prior to watching. Phoebe Dynevor for one admitted that she “definitely did” feel the need to warn her loved ones.
On the flip side, Regé-Jean Page apparently saw no need. He laughed off the notion saying, “Oh, I like to surprise them. Let them off the leash, see what they discover.” Siding with his on-screen sister, Jonathan Bailey also felt it necessary to warn his grandma that she should read the books first in order to be prepared. He also had the decency to warn her that she may “see my bottom before you see my face.”
A Lot of the Actors Are Now BFFs
After a six-week boot camp followed by six months of filming, you are bound to get close to some of your co-stars. Such was definitely the case for the Bridgerton cast. Working side by side, playing family members and friends on screen naturally brought these lords and ladies to BFF status.
Jonathan Bailey admitted that he and Phoebe Dynevor formed an especially close bond. “I feel incredibly proud and protective of her as well as an older brother,” he gushed. Jonathan also credits the stellar casting for bringing together such a like-minded, fun-loving group of friends “I think it’s testament to Shondaland that they managed to cast people who seem like a similar sort of tribe, and everyone really did get on.”
Chris Van Dusen Just Can’t Get Enough of Shonda Rhymes
Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen might be a new name to some of you, but in reality, he has been in the business for quite some time now. He worked on the hit medical drama Grey’s Anatomy from 2005 to 2012 and assisted in the creation of its spin-off series Private Practice. In addition, Van Dusen was also a producer and writer on the TV series Scandal.
Both Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal were created by producer and screenwriter Shonda Rhimes. Which if you think about it totally makes sense considering Rhimes was the one who gave showrunner Van Dusen a copy of the eight-book Bridgerton series three years ago and she is now the producer of the Netflix series.
Nicola Coughlan Was Offered the Job After One Audition
As you might imagine, nailing a role for a high budget Shondaland series such as this one is no easy feat. In fact, the process is usually long and involves several call-backs and interviews. For actress Nicola Coughlan however, showrunners seemed to fall head over heels at first sight.
Coughlan only had one audition before she was deemed perfect for the role. “When I auditioned for the show, I didn’t have any full scripts, [and] I hadn’t read the books,” she admitted. “I got offered the job after that one audition, which was so unexpected.” It appears Netflix has its very own “diamond of the first water.”
Julie Andrews’ Recording Sessions Were Recorded Virtually
For those of you who didn’t recognize the voice of Lady Whistledown, you’ll be overjoyed to find out that the scandal-loving narrator is in fact award-winning Hollywood legend, Dame Julie Andrews. Unfortunately for the show’s cast and crew, however, all her voice work was recorded virtually and not on set. When it came to choosing the voice of Whistledown, as you might have guessed, Andrews was at the top of their list.
And as you can imagine, showrunners were ecstatic when she agreed. “We offered her the part, sent her the scripts, not thinking anything would really come of it. But surprisingly she read the scripts and fell in love with them.” series creator Chris Van Dusen explained.”When they told me I legitimately stopped breathing,” said Bridgerton author Julia Quinn.
One Scene Got Cut Short Due to a Conflict With Queen Elizabeth II
When utilizing filming locations that are managed by the Commonwealth, you are bound to run into some scheduling conflicts here and there. But for a scene to get cut short to literally “make way for the queen,” is not something to be expected. Well, that very thing did end up happening while filming in London’s Lancaster House. Ironically enough, the scene in question was centered on the real queen’s great ancestor Queen Charlotte.
If you recall this was when Daphne and Simon had to present themselves to the queen in order to prove their love. “We had very limited time to shoot this scene before Her Majesty (the real one) needed the space,” Van Dusen wrote on his Twitter account. Well, they managed to capture a tear-shedding moment none the less.
Polly Walker Had previously Worked with Her On-Screen Husband
Polly Walker who plays Portia Featherington and her on-screen husband, Ben Miller did an upstanding job portraying lord and lady Featherington. And while their marital bliss was lacking on-screen, the on-set chemistry between these two stars was undeniable. This was mainly due to the fact that the pair have shared screentime before.
“Years ago, I did a project called Jeffery Archer: The Truth with Ben,” Walker recalled. And she only had warm things to say about her experience sharing the screen with Miller. “He’s so funny and such a talented actor and I couldn’t have hoped for a better Lord Featherington.” She goes on to say, “It’s nice to have already worked with someone because you have an ease in the relationship.”
The Cast Have a Whatsapp Group To Stay in Touch
Spending so much time preparing for and filming season one of Bridgerton helped foster an incredible bond between cast members. And they made sure to keep their friendships intact even after filming. They even have a Whatsapp group to help stay in touch.
It’s a good thing too since COVID-19 struck shortly after filming and all the cast and crew were forced to stay inside and social distance like the rest of us. According to Jonathan Bailey, “there is still full attendance” in their Whatsapp group even months after filming and press tours came to an end.
It Took The Stars Two Hours To Get Into Their Wigs for the Ball
The intricate wigs worn while attending many of the grandiose balls in the series could sometimes take hours to put on. And for some scenes, there could be over one hundred wigs and hairpieces found on set. So you could imagine the manpower needed to prepare everyone for the ball. Nicola Coughlan recently shared a time-lapse of the whole process and by the time she was ready to go, she had been sitting in the chair for two whole hours.
A lot of thought went into the wigs for each character. For instance, although they were all considered “gingers,” each Featherington sister had an individual shade of red made especially for them. Of all the wigs, hair designer Marc Pilcher said Queen Charlotte’s were his favorite. “They are my interpretation of how a Black Queen would look, a celebration of Afro hair and dreadlocks but in the silhouettes of the period.”
The MultiRacial Cast was Intentional
When showrunner Chris Van Dusen first took on this project he knew that he wanted to give a fresh take to the traditional period drama. A big part of achieving this was through the modernization of the casting. “We want modern audiences to relate to the story and to see themselves on screen,” says Van Dusen.
“The show thrives in the space of being relatable to whoever’s watching, no matter who you are. Having such a diverse group of characters affords us the ability to explore such an array of storylines,” he explained. And historically this notion is not too far off. Queen Charlotte is widely accepted as England’s first royal of mixed race which inspired Van Dusen to wonder, “what she could have done if she had used her power to elevate other people of color in society?”
Most of The Carriage Scenes Were Filmed on a Sound Stage
When creating a new world for viewers to get lost in or trying to take us back in time to a different era, directors sometimes have to flex their creative muscles. While the carriages seen in Bridgerton look to be rolling around on the streets of old England, in reality, all those scenes were done in the studio, with a green screen.
Not only that, but many of the horses seen pulling the carriages weren’t actually there in the first place. In truth, It was actually crew members who would move it. Regé-Jean Page joked that this would sometimes get awkward when the grips pulling them were asked to go faster and he could hear them straining to do so. He also admitted that it was hard to keep a straight face while this was happening.
Nicola Struggled To Wear Heels
Being only 5’1” tall comes with its own share of challenges, and for Nicola Coughlan, she was met with such hurdles while taking on her role as Penelope. According to the actress, she was asked to wear heels in order to make up for the height difference between her and the rest of the cast.
Problem was that she is not much of a heels kind of gal in her personal life and off the bat she struggled to get around in them. On her first day on set, Coughlan fell over not once but three times while filming. In one fall she was actually holding a parasol and accidentally stabbed Claudia Jessie in the hand. After that, they decided to get rid of the heels and let Coughlan just be her short self.
Ruby Barker’s Ringlets Were Her Own
While at times there could be hundreds of wigs bobbing around on set, not all of the actors needed to wear one. For actress Ruby Barker, who played Marina, she had already been blessed with gorgeous natural ringlets. Lucky for her she was, therefore, able to flaunt what her mama gave her, even while attending the balls.
Other stars who went wig-free were Ruth Gemmell who plays Lady Bridgerton and Bessie Carter who plays Prudence Featherington. Even this notion that not everyone was in a wig was accurate to the Regency era. “Regency England was actually a really exciting period because it started to pull away from the strictness of the massive dresses and wigs,” hair designer Marc Pilcher explained.
Phoebe Said That the Dance Rehearsals Helped Her and Regé Find Their Chemistry
According to Phoebe Dynevor, she credits the chemistry between her and her co-star Regé-Jean Page to the countless hours they spent rehearsing dance routines. “I think the thing that actually really helped the chemistry was all the dance rehearsals, because we just spent so much time with our choreographer, Jack Murphy, and loads of time in the studio,” said Dynevor.
It also helped that the songs used in the dances were modern and fun and allowed the two to loosen up a bit while rehearsing. “We just got time to play and sort of form a connection. I think that was so beneficial actually in getting the chemistry right,” she added.
Johnathan Bailey Found Out He Got the Role While Attending a Music Festival
When Johnathan Bailey got the call that he landed the role of Anthony Bridgerton, we were still back in the day when we could congregate in crowds, attend parties, and frequent annual music festivals. In fact, Bailey himself was on his way to Coachella when he found out about the role.
“The traffic getting to Coachella was appalling, so there I was, just flicking through the scripts,” Bailey tells Glamour. “And then when I was at Coachella, the deal was being made and then it was signed,” he recalled. Well, we are glad to know the star knows how to multitask. Who says mixing business with pleasure never works?
The Bridgertons and Featheringtons Are Inspired by Modern Day Icons
To make the Bridgerton and Featherington families more relatable, showrunners found inspiration from two very well-known American dynasties. “I say it’s the Kennedys versus the Kardashians,” said production designer Will Hughes-Jones.
He goes on to say, “The Featheringtons are new money, so there is a more brash, flashy element to them. Whereas the Bridgertons are a bit more old money and therefore have the historic and polite qualities you’d find in a design piece.” With this frame of mind, Hugh-Jones was hoping to further transform the series into “a period piece with modern inflections,” as he puts it.
Each Ball Had Its Own Decorative Theme
As if the high society balls attended by our favorite cast of characters weren’t elaborate enough, it turns out each one also has its own theme to give it that extra panache. And we aren’t talking about different color schemes or holiday decor, the theme for each ball was actually much deeper than that. Just take a look at what production designer Will Hughes-Jones had on his agenda:
“We finished the Bird Ball yesterday, which has a tropical flavor. Today is the Ingenue Ball, which is more ethereal and has lots of blossoms and sheers and statues. Then the ball we’re doing next week is what we call the Crystal Mirror Ball, which is about reflection and looking through people, looking at mirrors, what you see is not necessarily what you’re getting sort of thing. So very different looks, but all within one building, which is really fabulous.”
Phoebe Dynevor Was Nervous About the Ballroom Dances
Dancing didn’t exactly come naturally to some of the cast members. “I’ve never been a particularly good dancer, and I was a little bit worried about that,” admitted Phoebe Dynevor. “But it’s a real bonding experience for all the actors to be thrown into this world and get to play together.”
According to Freddie Stroma, who plays Prince Friedrich, choreographer Jack Murphy did not only teach each actor how to dance for the time period but he also created tailor-made dance styles for each character. “He understands dance and time periods and that we’re layering in elements that aren’t necessarily historically accurate,” Stroma said about Murphy.
The Bridgerton Children Were Named Alphabetically
While this may not be a behind the scenes fact, it is certainly a detail that many might have missed. The Bridgerton children’s names are as follows; Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth. Notice the pattern?
There names are all in ascending alphabetical order. This is something that they carried over from Julia Quinn’s literary universe. The reason behind it is to show how the Bridgerton family liked to keep things neat and orderly, as opposed to the Featheringtons which are a little more chaotic.
Bridgerton Colors Were Inspired by Wedgewood
As mentioned, the color palette for the Bridgerton family mainly consisted of pale blues, greens, and silvers. And this was completely deliberate in order to symbolize their high social status. However, they did not wear just any shade of blue.
The blue seen on their frocks and in their home deliberately imitates the renowned “Wedgewood blue.” For those who don’t know, Wedgewood is an English-made fine china and luxury accessories manufacturer that became a famous staple in the Regency era. Many of their products came in a specially formulated blue color known today as “Wedgewood blue.”
Filming Was Like Summer Camp
Luckily for the Bridgerton cast, they were able to do all their filming before the coronavirus pandemic took over the world. Filming took nine months from July 2019 until February 2020, right before the first COVID-19 lockdown. And it’s a good thing too because the cast did anything but social distance while on set.
According to Jonathan Bailey, filming felt just like being at summer camp.”On a nice day, everyone would just sort of sunbathe and roll around in their corsets, so there was always something going on,” Bailey shared in an interview with Cosmo. Apparently, there was always a game of FIFA going and the cast had a designated “coffee crew.”
Luke Newton Comes from a Musical Theater Background
When Luke Newton took on the part of the youngest son in the Bridgerton clan, Colin Bridgerton, he had no idea that he would get to put his musical theater experience to good use. It seems his voice was too good to pass up, as showrunners decided to include his singing in the series.
Luke recalls this experience saying, “I come from a musical theatre and singing background and both of my aunts were in West End shows, so I was brought up going to see them in musicals. When the opportunity to be part of Bridgerton came up I never thought that I would be singing in the show, but I performed around the piano and it was so cool for me because I got to learn a completely different style of music that I’d never even listened to before.”
Ben Miller Gave Up Physics for Comedy
Actor Ben Miller, who plays Lord Featherington did not always see himself pursuing a career in show business. In fact, he was well on his way into earning a PHD in semiconductor physics at Cambridge University before changing his dreams entirely.
He stopped working on his thesis once he realized he was destined to become a comedian. He then moved to London to join a sketch comedy group which later resulted in his comedy series Armstrong and Miller, which ran for four seasons.
Every Outfit Was Couture
As mentioned, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick was in charge of making 7,500 costumes from scratch for the show. But it didn’t stop there. For Mirojnick, every detail on every single costume made a difference. Which is very unique for a series such as this. Nicola Coughlan recalled that her first fitting took four whole hours.
She spoke about this saying, “Normally you just try something on and see if it fits, but because everything on Bridgerton was couture they had to get every single measurement right. They’d make an outline of your hand to get gloves made, they’d get shoes made just for you, everything was specially colored and if they didn’t have the right color, they would dye it.”
The Show Was Shonda Rhymes’ Idea
Although Bridgerton was created by Chris Van Dusen, he did not come up with the idea all on his own. In fact, it was Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhymes who introduced Van Dusen to the Bridgerton book series. According to Van Dusen, it was Rhymes who wanted him to bring the books to the screen.
“I took them home, read them that first night and I just fell in love with them,” Chris recalled in an interview with Cosmopolitan UK. “It was something I was really looking for and what a lot of audiences are looking for today – to be transported to this other time and place in this amazing, decadent beautiful world.”
Phoebe Has a Lot in Common with Daphne
As it turns out actress Phoebe Dynevor, actually related quite a bit to her Bridgerton alter-ego, Daphne Bridgerton. “I felt her emotion and everything she was going through,” Dynevor shared. The actress admitted that the pressures of social media have gotten the best of her, especially as her name and face have become more and more recognized.
“Daphne is very much putting on a front to be someone she thinks people want her to be, versus what’s her. And I have felt that as well.” Dynevor shared. She says that like Daphne, she also feels “the pressure to be this perfect thing, or what you think people want you to be.”
Some Of The Most Elaborate Sets Are Only Used for One Day
According to set designer Hughes-Jones, he and the rest of the crew were working at a “ridiculously fast pace,” in order to get all the sets prepared in time for filming. But while a lot of creative thought and manual work went into each and every set, some were only used for a single scene.
Regardless, whether it was to create a main character’s bedroom, or to put together an entire bird-themed ball for one night only, the crew took no short cuts when it came to set design. “We design and build sets for one day and then we’re off to the next one,” said Hugh-Jones. Well if you ask us, the hard work paid off.
Golda Roshuvel Originally Auditioned for a Different Role
While in hindsight, actress Golda Roshuvel seems perfect for the role of Queen Charlotte, in reality, she did not originally audition to portray the no-nonsense queen. When she was first approached about joining the series she was asked to come in for another role however did not feel too good about her audition.
“My first audition was so overwhelming. I did a good job but came outgoing, ‘Oh, I could have done that better,’” Roshuvel shared. Well, it all turned out for the best because within just a couple of days casting called her back asking to go on tape for Queen Charlotte. And just like that, the role was hers.
Jonathan Bailey Had To Apply Makeup On His Bum
Those who have seen the show already know that Jonathan Bailey’s bare bum makes an appearance before we even get a chance to see his face. And as it turns out, this was the first scene he shot as well. So it was important for him to make a great first impression.
Well, it seems that in order to do so, Bailey needed to accentuate some of his features by applying makeup to his backside. Bailey recalled that while filming his debut scene, the makeup crew was called in especially to “shine the booty.” Lucky for us, someone caught this moment on camera.
Main Characters Had No Clue Who Lady Whisledown Was
Spoiler Alert! When Nicola Coughlan first sat down with showrunner Chris Van Dusen her first question for him was whether or not he was planning on sticking to the book’s original storyline which would make her character Penelope Fedderington, the secret lady Whisledown. To her surprise, that was in fact his intention however he had yet to decide if this would be revealed in the first season.
While the rest of the cast were not given the same intel, that does not mean Coughlan did not spill the beans to anyone who wanted to know. She spoke about this saying, “Sometimes people would say, ‘I wonder who Whisledown is?’ And I’d go, ‘Do you want to know?’ I wouldn’t spoil it for anybody who didn’t, but then it was so fun seeing people’s reactions. But it’s been funny because it’s become a real-life secret for me, having to not tell people.”