My Celebrity Life

Kathryn Drysdale on sending Bridgerton memes to her co-stars and the show’s huge success: ‘None of us were prepared’

The Bridgerton star, 39, talks Regency memes, artful intimacy coordinators and ‘dreamy’ Colin Firth.

How are you today?

I’m good. I did an interview for Woman’s Hour earlier with writer Marian Keyes about Bridgerton. It was quite a quick segment so I didn’t have time to tell her that I love her. She’s amazing.

Still, I got to go out, which is a treat, and have a walk. I live in north London so it was just round the block and through a graveyard but it was very nice.

How is work for you through lockdown three?

This lockdown, even more than the other lockdowns, I suddenly have to be an expert in all things technology. I’ve had a few meltdowns. There have been situations where the spare room has had to act as a studio.

I’ve had to be a sound engineer and a lighting technician and director of my own auditions.

How are you getting your head around the extraordinary global success of Bridgerton?

Even from the first day when we did the script read-through and saw the expanse of the whole thing, we thought it was going to be something special.

It was a massive table of what felt like about a hundred people but I don’t think any of us were prepared for just how big this show was going to get. We’ve had to keep our feet firmly on the ground.

My Celebrity Life –
Kathryn (right) plays Genevieve Delacroix, a high society dressmaker in Bridgerton (Picture: Netflix)

Do the cast have Bridgerton WhatsApp groups?

Yes, we send each other Bridgerton memes and funny things we’ve seen on the internet. There was a fantastic Bridgerton musical on TikTok, which has been passed around. We all said we’d love to be in that.

Were you already a fan of TV period dramas?

Yes, it’s my favourite genre, so it’s a dream come true to be in something like this. My favourite pre-Bridgerton was the Pride And Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.

Like Bridgerton, it was witty and you fell in love with the characters. A lot of people speak about the costumes being so memorable in our production and I remember the costumes being so delicious in Pride And Prejudice.

And Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy was just dreamy. It was nice to get to work with him a few years later on St Trinian’s.

Hopefully he didn’t disappoint in the flesh…

No, he was a very charming, hard-working man. He was very kind to everybody because he was a big star. He was grounded and very amiable.

Did you create a backstory for your Bridgerton character, dressmaker Madame Genevieve Delacroix?

I did do a lot of research. There’s a fabulous book that I believe quite a lot of people on Bridgerton read, which is Georgette Heyer’s Regency World.

It’s an encyclopedia of these types of characters. It tells you a lot about dressmakers, boxers and high society [known as ‘the ton’]. For example, you got the best clientele if you were French.

The French accent was very important. The more French you were, the more favourable it was to the ton. So Genevieve has to be French, whether she was actually from France or not.

My Celebrity Life –
‘Dreamy’ Mr Darcy made 1995’s Pride and Prejudice Kathryn’s favourite period drama (Picture: Moviestore/REX)

You seem to have a good ear for accents. Is that something you’ve always had?

I couldn’t tell you. I just remember being in the living room when I was little, putting on plays for my dad, and always trying to be something completely opposite to myself. I would do impressions of political figures.

It’s great because I do a lot of voiceover work and animation. I do Dennis The Menace for the BBC. Freddie Fox is Dennis the Menace and I play one of his friends, JJ from Peckham. I’m also a Jamaican dinner lady. So I jump from being an 11-year-old to a middle-aged Jamaican woman.

I was doing that at the same time as Bridgerton and playing Meghan Markle in The Windsors so I was going from Jamaican/London to French to American in the same month.

You’ve also done a lot of theatre. Are you dying to return to the stage?

I was fortunate to do a rehearsed read-through on a stage with a paying audience just before this latest lockdown.

It was an Agatha Christie play at the Riverside Studios. It went down a storm. The audience were just desperate to see something live.

Bridgerton had an intimacy coordinator – what was that like?

It was the first time I had worked with one. Lizzy Talbot is absolutely incredible. You don’t have any of those nerves that you would normally have. It’s all choreographed safely – you do it like you’re doing a dance.

What would you like to happen to Genevieve if she returns in Bridgerton season two?

I don’t know if I can say. Obviously there is a need for a dressmaker for these women throughout the books. It would be nice if they kept hiring her.

She’s very talented and it would be fun to explore some of her secrets.

Bridgerton is on Netflix now.

 


Credit: Original article published here.

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