If you’ve been reading the scandals within Lady Whistledown’s papers, you’ll know that the new social season has arrived at the Ton. Of course, the whole city is abuzz with excitement – but none more so than the viewers who get to watch the second season of this regency drama from the comfort of their own homes. The first season of Bridgerton brought us romance, heartbreak, and library scenes that left us reeling… and the second season has been just as juicy.
From scandalous hunting trips to Pall Mall shenanigans and bee stings that really take your breath away, the second season of Bridgerton sees the Viscount aim to fulfil his family duty and find his bride. But as we all know, things don’t always go to plan in high society – and filming wasn’t exactly a romantic promenade for the cast and crew of this show, either. Check out the gossip-worthy behind-the-scenes photos and facts of Bridgerton season two.
The New Leading Ladies Were Thrust Head-First Into Their Roles
Season one of Bridgerton focused on Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings’ scandalous love affair. And while we were all totally obsessed with their sexual chemistry, we all know that we have to move on at some point. That’s where Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran come in to play. These two leading ladies are Bridgerton newcomers and both found themselves caught up in a strange love triangle with Viscount Anthony Bridgerton.
While Simone Ashley has already made waves in the Netflix show Sex Education, heading onto the Bridgerton set was still a shock – especially as both actresses were thrust in head-first. The two women confirmed that their first encounter with the rest of the cast was during a huge party scene. Charitha confessed that “It was a baptism of fire! Our first scene was this huge ball scene so we sort of met everybody all at once.”
Much of the Show Was Edited in a Dark and COVID-Friendly Basement
The first season of Bridgerton was filmed pre-pandemic, so things were a little different this time around. With rules and regulations in place, the whole cast and crew had to make arrangements so that the second season could be filmed without a hitch – or positive test results. Because of this, Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen edited most of the show in his basement.
Van Dusen confessed that “We had to edit everything virtually, so a lot of the show was put together in my basement and not a fancy studio like most people would think. In terms of the orchestral pop covers we added in, I would test those out with my two 18-month-olds, and if they started dancing to the song, we’d keep it.” As you will probably all agree, those 18-month-olds have great musical taste.
The Actresses Couldn’t Walk Unaided in Their Heavy Costumes
During lockdown and the work-from-home era, even high-profile actors found themselves wearing sweatpants and sweaters all day, every day. So, it was a bit of a change for the women of Bridgerton season two when they had to swap their sweatpants for Regency-era ball gowns and wigs. In fact, Nicola Coughlan confessed that these costumes were so heavy they couldn’t even walk on their own.
The actress stated that their dresses were “so heavy we had to have someone walk with us to set because it was too heavy to carry ourselves. Everything was custom made, it was so beautiful but also I’m like five foot one, so this head dress made me probably about five eight: for me that’s really tall.” So, they had helpers who made sure that they all made their way to and from set without breaking their ankles.
The Cast Are Under No Circumstances Allowed to Change the Script
Many television show creators write their scripts and then allow their cast to improvise here and there. Actors then take these scripts and make them their own while they’re in character and in the zone – but Chris Van Dusen isn’t a showrunner who likes that kind of thing. In fact, the cast was not allowed, under any circumstances, to change the script at all.
Actresses Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington) and Polly Walker (Baroness Featherington), spoke about this. Portia confessed that “Yep, you’re not allowed to change an ‘it’ or a ‘but’ or anything,” and Bessie stated that “They’re very on it with us!” Thankfully, a lot of the cast members on the show seem to enjoy having a script and knowing exactly what to say.
Each Actor Had to Sign a Nudity Contract Before Filming Started
When you think of Bridgerton season one, you probably think of raunchy scenes in the library, bare skin all over the screen, and more nudity than you could shake a stick at. While the second season is certainly a little tamer, there’s still a fair amount of body being shown. Because of that, each actor had to sign a nudity contract before filming started.
This nudity contract gives them the chance to outline how much nudity they are willing to show on camera, and how far they are willing to go for the sake of the show. Of course, every actor is allowed to make their own decisions and to state how comfortable they are, and their decisions will be honored throughout the entirety of their contract.
They Employed Someone to Ensure Historical Artifacts Didn’t Get Broken
Just like the first season, Bridgerton season two was filmed in stately homes, palaces, and historical properties across the United Kingdom. Of course, filming in such locations does come with a lot of pressure – especially when you’re piling multiple cast and crew members, heavy machinery, and intense costumes into these often priceless properties. So, the production team hires people each season to keep everything safe.
Yes, Bridgerton director Julie Ann Robinson has confirmed that the show employs experts to ensure that things don’t get broken in these stately homes. This includes historical artifacts that may reside in the properties, as well as the gardens and the construction of the property itself. Otherwise, they could have a serious invoice coming their way.
Newton the Corgi Was a Total Diva on Set, and He Even Had His Own Trailer
Every show is instantly made more enjoyable and exciting when there’s a dog involved, and season two of Bridgerton sees the addition of Newton the dashingly handsome Corgi. However, Newton was a total diva on set. The show’s creator Chris Van Dusen noted that “He did struggle to take direction, but with some creative techniques and some carefully placed ADR, we did end up getting what we needed from him.”
Newton was treated to a life of regency luxury on the set of this show and was even given his own trailer. But he did find himself in a spot of bother when started eating something he shouldn’t have. Simone Ashley stated that “I was trying to do my thing, and then I’d look down to see him gobbling pebbles. Then he passed out from eating them all!”
Jonathan Bailey Had a Very Awkward Wardrobe Malfunction
The Bridgerton wardrobe department certainly deserves a round of applause – and probably a large round of drinks – after working so hard on both seasons of the show. And while they put a huge amount of time, effort, and money into the cast costumes, things sometimes go wrong. For Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, that time came when he was filming a fencing scene with his brothers.
He confessed that “I know that we boys shouldn’t complain because the girls have to wear all these corsets, but I do remember one scene where me and the sibs are fencing, and the costumes were very tight in certain places. It was also a dewy morning and we were wearing these plimsolls, so I did this lunge move and my trousers ripped at the crotch. I was suddenly aware all these people were watching me and I just screamed ‘this is so embarrassing!'”
Kate’s Costumes Were Hiding a Few Secrets About Her Personality
While we’re used to the Featheringtons wearing yellow and orange, and the Bridgertons wearing pastel pinks and blues, Kate and Edwina Sharma offered something new in terms of their costume color palette in season two. Kate largely wore jewel-tone colors, and the fabrics often hinted at her Indian heritage. Costume designer Sophie Canale chose this for a reason, of course.
Canale noted that “Kate is a strong character. She’s unmarried and a mother figure to her sister, so I wanted to portray that in both the color palette and also the fabrics that I chose for her. Then, as we traveled through [the season], there’s a softer element, and the color palette also changes.” The Sharma sisters also wore opulent jewelry, that Canale had designed by a jeweler of Indian heritage. She really did think of everything.
They Used COVID-Friendly Visual Effects to Trick the Audience
Filming anything in the middle of a pandemic must be tough, and Chris Van Dusen and his team had their work cut out for when it came to filming the second season of Bridgeton. The first season had been such a success that there was a huge amount of pressure on their shoulders to make the second season just as impressive. So, they had to employ some covid-friendly tips and tricks.
Chris has admitted that “I knew the audience wasn’t going to give us a pass, and I didn’t want them to. I wanted to bring everything everyone fell in love with about season one back for season two. In those larger ballroom scenes, it looks like there’s 300-400 people there, but in reality it’s more like 30-40 and visual effects where necessary.”
The Queen’s Extravagant Costumes Put a Strain on Her Health
One thing you might not have realized in both seasons one and season two of Bridgerton is that the Queen never wears the same thing twice. Not the same dress, and certainly not the same wig. Each look is completely different, and while we admire Golda Rosheuvel for being such a quirky and stylish regency fashionista, she has confessed that her extravagant costumes put a strain on her health.
Not only are her wigs often so big they need their own transportation to and from filming locations, but her corsets are also extremely uncomfortable. The actress has noted that “I am double-corseted. I love them, but you have to have stamina when you’re wearing two corsets for that long. I train regularly and drink lots of water because you have to stay hydrated!”
Simone Ashley Threw up on Her First Day of Filming
As the newcomer on the Bridgerton block, we don’t blame actress Simone Ashley for being nervous on her first day of filming. After all, the show is the biggest show in Netflix history! But it seems as though it wasn’t nerves that made her throw up on that first day. Instead, it was her corset – as nobody had warned her that she needed to watch what she ate while she was wearing the support garment.
Simone told Glamour that “on my first day, I was like, ‘Okay, first day as a leading lady, got to eat lots of food, be really energised.’ So I had this massive portion of salmon and that’s when I needed to be sick, basically because I was wearing the corset. I realized when you wear the corset, you just don’t eat. It changes your body… I had a lot of pain with the corset, too, I think I tore my shoulder at one point!”
The Viscount Caused All Kinds of Trouble While They Were Filming
While we’re still waiting for our invitation to join season three of Bridgerton as a new cast member, we can imagine that filming such a huge television show is intense, long, and tiring. So, the cast and crew of the show must have been pretty annoyed (plus partially amused) when Jonathan Bailey started distracting everyone that he was working with.
According to the other cast and crew, Johnny is the most likely cast member to burst into hysterics and put a temporary stop to the filming schedule. Anyone who works with him can’t seem to shake his infectious laughter and soon enough everyone is doubled-over and out of character. According to his co-star Simone Ashley, “It happens a lot!”
Some Cast Members Absolutely Hated Their Hair and Makeup
The Regency era in London was a far cry from the world that we live in today – especially when it comes to hair, makeup, and what we wear. And while we’d certainly love to try waist-cinching corsets and have ringlets coming out of our heads, it seems as though some of the cast didn’t like what the hair and makeup team had in store for them.
Bessie Carter, who plays Prudence Featherington, had her hair dyed red for the second season – and she didn’t like it at all. She confessed that “I was quite comfortable in my gowns because I only had to wear a half corset, but I did dye my hair which was a huge mistake because I had to go and have my roots touched up every two weeks! The best bit about my costumes were my handbags.”
Before Bridgerton, Simone Had Never Watched a Period Drama in Her Life
Those who have already binge-watched the second season of Bridgerton will know that Simone Ashley is a natural on the screen, and it seems as though the character of Kate Sharma was made for her. So, it might surprise you to learn that Simone has absolutely no experience of working on a period drama. It was her first time… and what a first time it was.
Simone confessed that “I didn’t really watch period dramas much because I felt like I couldn’t relate to them, maybe because I couldn’t see myself within one.” However, we all know that Bridgerton isn’t your usual period drama like Downton Abbey or Anne With an E. It’s a little different.
The Music Hinted Towards Kate and Edwina’s South-Asian Heritage
Having two leading ladies of South-Asian heritage head up a show like Bridgerton is a huge step forward in Hollywood, and Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran were over the moon to be a part of it. Simone confessed that “It’s amazing to be able to represent South Asian people and the joyous culture of South Asia. For me personally, I just wanted to have fun with it and make it feel quite normal because it should be, really.”
What you might not realize, though, is this heritage was not just shown through clothing – but also through song. The musical team turned many Bollywood songs into orchestral versions, and Charithra noted that “The Bollywood song that features in the series is super well known and it’s such a family song. When I first heard it, it brought tears to my eyes and I texted Chris right away! It was amazing as a child of immigrants to be a part of this, and I felt very proud to see my two worlds coming together.”
One Actor Was by Far Everyone’s Favorite Cast Member on Set
When watching a show like Bridgerton, audience members always come to a conclusion on their favorite character. You might love Anthony for that slow-mo lake scene, you might love Eloise for her independent no-nonsense attitude, or you might love Edwina for being perfect in every way. But it seems as though there was one cast member that everyone agreed was the favorite on set.
Although the show’s creator Chris Van Dusen wouldn’t outright admit that he had a favorite, he has spoken a lot about Irish actress Nicola Coughlan in the past. Nicola plays Penelope Featherington (and You-Know-Who), and Chris has stated that “Working with Nicola, she always has everyone in stitches. She’s so beloved by this cast and crew and I just love her so much. She’s always around to have conversations with… But we are all a close-knit family on set!”
Only One Scene in the Whole Season Was Unscripted and Improvised
Although the cast and crew of Bridgerton made it their mission to stick to their script as much as possible, it seems as though there was one scene where Chris Van Dusen loosened his reigns and allowed the actors to have a bit of fun. Yes, the scene where the whole Bridgerton family – and Kate and Edwina – played Pall Mall in the gardens was largely improvised!
Van Dusen has spoken about this scene, noting that “There’s a sequence where the Bridgertons and the Sharmas are on the croquet field…That scene is just is so iconic and it’s quintessential Bridgerton because there’s so much verbal sparring and competition…At a certain point when we were filming that sequence, we set up the cameras and let the actors play and say whatever they wanted to say. Honestly, that was the first and only time there’s been improvisation on set, and we even used some of it!”
The Cast Used Intimacy Experts to Help Choreograph the Sex Scenes
Although many fans love the second season of Bridgerton as much as the first, there is one clear difference between the two. Yes, some found the lack of sex scenes compared to the first season pretty disappointing – but there are still a few saucy scenarios for everyone to enjoy. And to make these scenes a success, the cast utilized the expertise of intimacy coaches.
Van Dusen has noted that “This season we did the same thing as we did in the last season — we worked on intimate scenes carefully and with the help of a trained pro. We’ve never done a sex scene for the sake of it and we never will. What I will say is, these two [Jonathan and Simone] have amazing chemistry; they’re like magnets! So much can be said in a look across the room between this pair, so we focused on that.”
The Second Season Is Full of Historical Easter Eggs
The people that work behind the scenes are geniuses. This is certainly true when it comes to Chris Van Dusen, as he decided that he was going to include some historical easter eggs into season two of Bridgerton. One easter egg was found in episode two, when Anthony’s handwritten list of potential wives includes a “Miss Quinn” – a nod to Julia Quinn, the author of the Bridgerton book series.
Perhaps the biggest easter egg, though, involved a wet Viscount emerging from a lake. The creator confessed that “I’ve talked about the 1995 Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth emerging from the lake in a white shirt a lot, and we wanted to pay homage with our own version of that in this season. I love this genre so there really are any number of things that have found their way into my brain and onto the page when it comes to period pieces.”
The Queen Was Given a Much Deeper Storyline for a Reason
In season one of Bridgerton, the Queen was at the top of the social food chain. She chose the “diamond” debutante of the season, she hosted many of the balls, and she showed off her incredible collection of (rather giant) wigs. However, this second season has given the Queen a chance to shine even further, and her storyline was made to be much deeper.
Golda Rosheuvel has spoken about her second stint on the throne, stating that “What I love about this series is that they could’ve written a one-dimensional queen character who just wears fabulous dresses and wigs, but there’s much more to her. I was excited to get to convey her relationship with her husband the King – who is obviously going through a lot of mental trauma – and to explore her more vulnerable side.”
50% Of the Show Was Filmed Off-Location in a Studio in London
From the Bridgerton summer home to Lady Danbury’s extravagant mansion, this show lets us inside countless palaces and properties across the UK. However, what you might not realize is only 50% of the show is actually filmed on-location in these places. The other half is filmed in a makeshift studio in London.
For the second season, the set designers worked hard to bring the elaborate streets of the Ton to life, and the cobbled streets are simply a facade – seen in this behind-the-scenes photo above. The cast and crew make their way to the studio in Uxbridge to film these scenes, and even many interior sets are built for the special occasion. This just makes it easier for everyone.
The Show’s Creator Tries to Make the Show Different From the Books
While Bridgerton on television is a relatively new addition to our lives, the Julia Quinn books have been around for over two decades. Of course, the show’s creator Chris Van Dusen used these books as inspiration for his television show, but he didn’t want the TV series to be a carbon copy of the books. So, he tried to add his own spin – and even his own characters.
He stated that “I wanted the series to be about a society and an entire world and that’s why I created new characters like Will and Alice Mondrich and Queen Charlotte…. I also never want to be afraid to put my characters in the most unimaginable, sometimes horrific situations because that’s what I think makes riveting TV – to do the unexpected. We never want any portion of our audience to know where we’re going or how we’re going to get there.”
Jonathan Bailey Used His Own Family Experiences as Inspiration
Although most people would love to grow up in a well-to-do family where the only tough decision you have to make is whether you wear a blue or pink gown to the ball, that doesn’t really happen in real life. And while Jonathan Bailey (who plays Viscount Bridgerton) isn’t from the Ton, he did still use his own family experiences to inspire his character development on the show.
Yes, he confessed that “I’m from a big family — although I’m the youngest — so I can relate to that aspect of Anthony’s character. He sort of has to live for other people, like Kate does too, and that was something I could understand a bit. He’s quite stubborn, and this season it felt somewhat isolating to play him. He’s been through some hard times and he has a troubled past, and I learned a lot this season about living with trauma and how to love yourself before loving somebody else. I did enjoy the fact that he smiled more this season though!”
Simone Ashley Had to Prepare for Weeks Before Filming Started
Simone Ashley plays Kate Sharma, and her appearance on the second season of Bridgerton has been praised by critics and fans alike. So, it might not surprise you to learn that she didn’t have to work too hard to get the part. She has confessed that the audition process was pretty smooth – but it was what came after that that took much longer than she anticipated.
Simone told Radio Times that “I self-taped, met [Jonathan Bailey] and then I got the part. Before I knew it I was in wig fittings and at horse-riding training. I’d only ridden once before with some friends in Wales. I did a bootcamp to learn to ride for this.” In fact, she spent weeks preparing herself for all of the intricacies of filming before the cameras even started rolling.
Former Lead Phoebe Dynevor Passed Tips and Tricks Down to Jonathan
In season one, Phoebe Dynevor was the diamond of the show. She was not only the lead of the show, but she was also the head honcho within the Bridgerton family. So, when her on-screen brother was chosen as the lead for the second season, Phoebe decided to gift Jonathan Bailey with tips and tricks to make the transition easier.
This advice proved priceless when Jonathan found himself in this new role, which is why he decided to write down these tips and tricks – and his own advice – in a handbook to pass down to the next star of the show. He noted that “It’s a Bridgerton guide for the next sibling who plays the lead.” There’s no word yet on who that might be…