Bridgerton is set to breathe new life into the world period dramas as fans patiently wait for the Netflix series to drop.
For cast members such as Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, and Nicola Coughlan, the fresh take on the Regency-era England was one of the most exciting aspects of the lavish series – brought to you by Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes’ production company, Shondaland.
Based on the best-selling books by Julia Quinn, the series follows Daphne Bridgerton (Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family as she makes her debut on Regency London’s competitive marriage market.
Although it initially appears she has a wealth of options, her brother begins to rule out her potential suitors, prompting the high society scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown (voiced by Dame Julie Andrews) to tell the entire town that she’s lacking in options.
However, sparks fly between Daphne and the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page, who comes up with a plan to try and change both their fortunes for the better.
The Netflix drama amplifies the modern sensibilities featured in Quinn’s novels and with Jonny Bailey (who plays Anthony Bridgerton) claiming the show is a ‘culture collaboration’ thanks to its American showrunner Chris Van Dusen.
The theatre star explained to Metro.co.uk: ‘It was fascinating to film because it’s a real culture collaboration of an Americanisms and British sensibility. I feel like Brits have a kind of onus on period dramas, we’re very proud of our Jane Austin’s and so on.
‘But this was a different approach. We were going into it knowing that Shondaland are the best, kindest, most aggressive storytellers in terms of holding a mirror up to society as it is today.’
He continued: ‘I feel incredibly proud that I see representation in a way that there should be. If people can pay for a Netflix account, they should see themselves within every story. I have a great amount of pride about the show.’
Polly Walker, who plays Lady Featherington, also praised the series for taking a less ‘constrained’ approach to the world it has created.
She exclusively told Metro.co.uk: ‘Working on the show was so energizing. It’s so original, I’ve never come across something like it before.
‘It was a more original modern approach to the character, so I didn’t feel like I was constrained. Normally when you play those sorts of periods, you do feel very sort of constrained but this time I had the freedom to be as large as I wanted with the character.’
The Mr. Selfridge star added: ‘I could be quite bold with my choices because of the costumes and the style and the concept. I think that appraoach makes the show much more relevant.’
Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, also praised the decision to make the series reflect modern viewership.
She explained: ‘Shondaland has done so much in terms of diversity on TV so why would this show be any different? I have to say a big favorite of mine is Golda Rosheuval as Queen Charlotte, she’s so incredible.
‘I think this show should open the doors and make people go, “Why can’t we make shows like this?” Bridgerton is a fantasy. It’s not a documentary about what life was like in Regency England. We have that out there already.’
The actress continued: ‘The book that Bridgerton is based on a series is only 20 years old. We’re not adopting Jane Austen so there isn’t that level of weight that everybody knows it, even though the books are really beloved.
‘Everything about the show is so clever and creative, even down to the modern music. When I was watching the episodes, I was like, “Oh my god, I know that song”. Art is about creativity and having fun and I think Bridgerton is a really good example of that.’
Meanwhile, Phoebe Dynevor admitted she was amazed to see the final product of the vibrant series.
She explained: ‘I had this Baz Lurmann style idea in my head when filming and it wasn’t far off what I imagined at all. It did feel like we were creating something new and exciting.
‘It was interesting when we first got involved. I really distinctly remember having conversations with Johnny like “What is this show gonna be?” We did know it was huge and bold and we were like this is either going to be really good or people might not get it. It’s been fun to watch it now and be like, “Oh, wow”.’
Bridgerton is available to stream on Netflix from December 25.
Credit: Original article published here.