“Bridgerton” fans may not have Regé-Jean Page (aka Simon, the Duke of Hastings) to drool over, but Netflix is promising that they’ll be swept off their feet in Season 2— this time, by a romance between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley). The “Sex Education” star and Bailey promised during a Tudum panel that, in spite of all of the arguments you’ll see on-screen between the pair, they certainly aren’t lacking in passion.
The streamer dropped an exclusive first-look today at the next chapter of the steamy, Shondaland-produced Regency-era drama based on Julia Quinn’s novels. In the clip shared on Saturday, it’s clear the two get off to a rocky start.
“He’s met someone who’s really his match,” Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington) observed during a brief panel session with Ashley, Bailey and Charithra Chandran, who joins the cast on Season 2 as Kate’s younger sister, Edwina.
“I couldn’t believe that someone who looked like me could be in those outfits and be in show like that,” Chandran said.
Coughlan noted that Kim Kardashian is a big fan of “Bridgerton” and has a What’s App group devoted to watching the show. She dubbed her “Lady Kardashian of Calabasas.” She pointed to the diversity on display in the show as helping to make the costume drama feel very contemporary.
“It’s not your grandmother’s period drama. It’s quietly revolutionary in a lot of things that it does,” Coughlan said. “It doesn’t follow the rulebook at all.”
As a newcomer, Ashley complimented the vibe on the set, stressing that the cast and crew are “a bunch of genuinely kind and lovely down to earth people.”
Coughlan and Bailey discussed the overwhelming fan response to the launch of the series last year. “Bonkers,” Coughlan said. Bailey recalled hearing 2,000 screaming fans on a Zoom promotional event even before the series dropped on Dec. 25, 2020.
Coughlan recalled filming fake-out endings to Season 1, which revealed her to be the Regency-era gossip columnist writing under the pen name Lady Whistledown. “Filming that scene was so fun,” Coughlan said of the big reveal in Season 1. “They’d filmed a different ending” to guard against early leaks, she noted.
While breakout star Phoebe Dynevor returns for the series as Daphne, the Duchess of Hastings, its sophomore season is set to focus on the family’s eldest son and his quest to find a suitable partner. The new episodes will introduce the fan-favorite character, Kate Sharma. Each book in the Quinn novels (and subsequently, each season) is dedicated to each sibling’s love story, as they navigate the marriage scene in search of romance and adventure in nineteenth-century London.
“We pick up with Anthony after we’ve seen what he’s been through with his mistress. He’s thinking, ‘Was that love?’ Some would call it that, others would not. We’re exploring those concepts of duty and honor once again,” Chris Van Dusen told Variety in an interview this past August.
Netflix has already renewed “Bridgerton” for Season 3 and 4, given that it was one of the hottest shows this past year. After Season 1’s debut on Christmas Day 2020, Netflix said “Bridgerton” was on track to reach 63 million households in the first 28 days. Later, it reported that figure had jumped to 82 million households. “Bridgerton” racked up 12 Emmy nods, and won the outstanding period and/or character hairstyling category. A “Bridgerton” spin-off, centered on a young Queen Charlotte, has also been ordered to series.