When “Bridgerton” actor Phoebe Dynevor first read the script for Simon and Daphne’s wedding night, she didn’t realize that fans would immediately lock onto four little words — “I burn for you.”
“You have no idea what lines people are going to care about,” Dynevor tells Variety, looking back on the wedding night scene. “That was surprising to me. It wasn’t like I saw ‘I burn for you’ in the script and was like, ‘This is what people are going to talk about.'”
In Variety’s Making a Scene presented by HBO, actors Regé-Jean Page (who played Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings in the series’ first season) and Dynevor, along with director Sheree Folkson and composer Kris Bowers, break down the memorable scene from the series’ fifth episode, “The Duke and I.”
Referencing Dynevor’s now iconic line, which some audience members have falsely attributed to Simon, Page explains that the piece of dialogue carries the “Mandela effect,” which is when a large group of people collectively misremember something.
“I do not say, ‘I burn for you’l it’s not my line!” Page says, with a laugh. “Everyone clearly was feeling very burned for, which I’ll take as a compliment.”
When Page parodied the scene for his “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut, he said the line in a sultry, gravelly voice. For the real deal, Dynevor delivered the words in a demure, almost questioning manner.
On deciding how to best play the moment, Dynevor explains, “The key to dialogue like that is just to make it as organic and as real as possible. There’s no other way to play saying a line like that than to make it an inward feeling.”
But the audience was not only captured by one line reading. Folkson and Bowers explain how their technical contributions to the piece made the scene sing, building tension in anticipation of the newlywed couple consummating their marriage.
When scoring the scene, Bowers first based the music on Daphne’s point of view and then harmonically moved toward what would become Daphne and Simon’s theme together.
“There’s a string ostinato that continues throughout that’s built off of Daphne’s theme,” Bowers explains. “It has this warm and romantic tone to it, but also a little bit of mystery or danger.”
Upon its release, the Shondaland-produced Netflix drama immediately made waves with its classical covers of contemporary hits, and for this scene, Folkson suggested Bowers cover a song called “Strange” by British singer-songwriter Celeste. Though the lyrics are about a breakup, the director notes, the way Bowers and cellist Hillary Scott interpreted the piece fit the moment perfectly.
And when it came to making things fit further, Folkson says the show’s Regency period attire, such as corsets, impacted the pace of the scene.
“It’s so much more sexy to watch the anticipation of sex than actual sex,” Folkson explains. “So I just wanted to drag [it] out as long as I could… having to undo the laces and the buttons, it delays it.”
For more behind the scenes details about the Regency romance and this sultry and sentimental scene, watch the video above.