Season two features a scene of the cast playing Pall Mall, a precursor to croquet. For the scene, the cast was encouraged to actually practice the game beforehand. Luke Thompson, who plays Benedict Bridgerton, took things a bit further than expected and broke two of the mallets during filming.
One cast member has an upper hand, however. Charithra Chandran, who plays Edwina Sharma, grew up playing croquet!
"The interesting thing is I played a lot of croquet in my past like at boarding school and at university," she told E! News. "So I was very familiar with croquet, Pall Mall is very similar. So we got sent all the rules beforehand, got to read them up, but there were always people to describe what was happening. And but most of it was choreographed and then like, sometimes they'd record us just messing about which I think some of those scenes made and or shots made and which is lovely."
In the first season, Anthony Bridgerton's (Jonathan Bailey) glorious sideburns caused quite the stir. However, in season two, eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice they went missing. But why?!
It turns out showrunner Chris Van Dusen did it intentionally to show Anthony's transition from party boy to leading man.
It's impossible for Anthony to look anything but ravishing, but is it bad that we kind of miss the sideburns? We'll always have season one.
On Bridgerton, tea is basically a character in and of itself.
We figured the cast was drinking water the whole time, but alas, they're actually guzzling the real thing! According to Netflix, they usually use "PG Twips or Twinings." We'll pretend like we know what that means.
As for the food, that's not always real.
The show's head food economist (a job we didn't know was real) Lisa Heathcote needed food that wouldn't spoil during many of the show's ball scenes, so most of that stuff is inedible. However, in the actual dinner scenes, the food is real. Since the actors need to eat the food over multiple takes, it's often made out of raw vegetables. Sounds like dinner at Grandma's house.
Every single actor on Bridgerton has their own horse.
Jonathan Bailey rides a black Spanish Friesian horse named Jack, while Simone Ashley rides a Spanish Bay horse named Nirvana.
Since most of the horses became attached to their assigned actor during season one, many of them returned for season two.
We just hope Regé-Jean Page's horse is doing okay.
Produced by Shonda Rhimes, the multitalented mastermind behind shows like Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, Bridgerton has been celebrated for its diverse casting. For instance, on the show, Guyanese-British actress Golda Rosheuvel plays Queen Charlotte of England, who was a real person. Some historians believe the wife of King George III was a descendant of a Portuguese royal family with African ancestry, according to PBS.
"When I researched Queen Charlotte and found out that she was of African descent, it gave me so much more scope to create her beautiful looks," the show's makeup and hair designer Marc Pilcher told Vogue. "I used the silhouettes of the period but in a celebration of her ethnicity, I used locks, braids and Afro-textured styles. Her giant Afro was in the shape of a Gainsborough wig, but influenced by Beyoncé as Foxxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember."
Pilcher echoed his comments to Essence, saying, "I saw Beyoncé Knowles in Austin Powers Goldmember and that's when I thought, 'That's what I want.' I wanted the biggest afro someone had ever seen. That wig in particular was actually four or five wigs all placed together. So we had the wigs for the ringlets and then the we bought afros and then straightened them out and reset them on curls sticks and brushed them through so that we would get the best volume of afro, then sewed them on top of each other just to get that beautiful shape."
"If you look at Regency men of that period, they would always have a cane and a hat," Adjoa Andoh, who plays Lady Danbury, told New African magazine. "For me, the fact that she's a widow meant that I wanted her to embody some of the masculine within her feminine. In a way to reflect the particular position of wealth and power that she had within a society that didn't allow a woman a huge amount of freedom. So, I requested a hat, I love a hat!"
"At the first fitting of Lady Featherington (Polly Walker), I noticed that her outfits were heavily influenced by the 1950s," Pilcher told Vogue, "so rather than giving her straightforward Regency hair and makeup, I looked at pictures of Elizabeth Taylor and Deborah Kerr and amalgamated a 1950s look with a Regency silhouette."
Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise Bridgerton, and Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, are "friends in real life," according to showrunner Chris Van Dusen.
"In the writers' room, we refer to them as PenEloise," he told Screenrant. "That's slowly becoming a thing, as the fans of the books tweet and are on Instagram. I think they're using that hashtag a lot."
He added, "When we saw them, we immediately knew that was Penelope and that was Eloise Bridgerton. I think we have something special with them."
Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings, always wore a diamond and emerald-encrusted enamel brooch on his lapel during season one. It belonged to his late mother, who died just after giving birth to him, as seen in a flashback on the show.
Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, had to have makeup applied to his butt for a sex scene. "There is a moment where they go, 'Can we lower the britches?' And when I lowered the britches for the first time, they went, 'Can we call in makeup?'" he said on the British TV show Lorraine. "It was just to de-shine the body."
"I have 93 dresses," Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne, told Glamour. "That's just mad! They're all made from scratch and hand-embroidered. And there's six people making just Daphne's dresses."
"Daphne always wore blue, that was her favorite color in the beginning, in her innocence stage," costume designer Ellen Mirojnick told Buzzfeed. "Her colors changed as she evolved and as she became the Duchess, a married woman with her own ideas. We actually deepened the palette a little bit, made it a little dustier, a bit richer and deeper."
On Bridgerton, notably in season one episode six, Daphne and the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) get it on in pretty much every room of the house. An intimacy coordinator worked with the pair and other cast members for nude and sex scenes, which showrunner Chris Van Dusen said were choreographed.
"It was all so that the cast would feel comfortable, and we all we really left it in their hands to take the scenes for as far as they wanted to take them," he told E! News. "Those scenes were heavily choreographed, much like an action sequence, like 'Your hand goes here, your leg goes there.' They were all really, really rehearsed."
Dynevor told E! News. "I feel really proud of those scenes, honestly. We worked really hard at making them feel real. I was very safe. I felt very safe with Regé and an intimacy coordinator. We blocked them out like they were intricate stunts."
In one sex scene, Daphne, having realized she had misinterpreted her husband Simon's comments about fathering children and having recently learned how babies are conceived, takes control of the situation to try to get what she wants. Every aesthetic detail in that controversial moment was planned, and Dynevor had a strong say in her character's portrayal.
"We were very clear that there needed to be a show of power, so it's Daphne who takes her own hair out of the braids, and it's Daphne who pushes him away so he can see her," Lizzy Talbot, Bridgerton's intimacy coordinator, told Vulture. "Phoebe wanted to remove her hair from the braids herself, because it's an empowering moment and so much is tied up in women's hair at that time. That's a very definitive moment that isn't necessarily rooted in the sexual act, but it is paving the way for it."
Daphne and Simon spent quite a bit of time in, er, bed (and other places if a bed is unavailable at that opportune moments). The crew faced the challenge of making sure Page, who is believed to be 5-foot-11, did not fall off the reduced-sized Regency beds!
"One of the interesting things about Bridgerton was that so many scenes we did involving beds were on beds of Regency size," Talbot told Vulture. "That was honestly one of our biggest challenges. Reǵe being as tall as he is, is not really suited to a Regency-sized bed, lengthwise or even widthwise when there's two people on it. So we had to work really hard to make sure that if there's ever any rolling action—which happens quite a lot in these scenes—that they didn't accidentally roll off the bed."
She added, "That was a real issue! On nearly every bed that we had."
The cathartic rained-out party scene that took place at the Hastings' courtyard was actually filmed indoors on a sound stage, which allowed the crew to control the volume and temperature of the water, and also allowed it to drain properly without flooding the set.
"We had a huge tank underneath to collect the water, because you can't just rain in a studio and have it just go everywhere. It's got to be properly collected," set director Gina Cromwell told Buzzfeed. "So there was an enormous range of pipes and things going on. I mean, from my point of view, I was just involved with making sure that there were flowers, always flowers, and that there was food and pretty things like that. But I know that from the point of view of the audience, they were (hopefully) fooled into thinking that it was actually an outside set."
The onscreen version of Daphne's rival Cressida (played by Jessica Madsen), was based on the snobby Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie. "Pretty on the outside," the show's makeup and hair designer Marc Pilcher told Vogue, "but mean on the inside."
On Bridgerton, Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker) arrives at the Featherington's home secretly pregnant with her and her lover's child. She typically wears a "lover's eye" pendant.
"That's just to symbolize that she has a lover that nobody knows," John Glaser, one of the show's costume designers, has said. "Usually, the miniatures were up to the person, so people knew who they were, but they wouldn't display them. She has an eye. So she's the only one who knows who her lover is."
During the season one finale, the identity of gossip newsletter writer Lady Whistledown was finally revealed.
"It was so much fun," Coughlan told Variety. "We had to film that in the middle of COVID. I had to be super, super secret. I had to be flown over from Ireland, and tested and tested and tested, and do the fitting. It was hyper secret; I couldn't let anyone know I was there or what was going on. But it was so much fun to film that."
In an interview with E! News, Golda Rosheuvel made a small gesture in season two that was meant to call back to Bridgerton's first season. Specifically, when selecting Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) to be the diamond of the season, the queen lifts the debutante's chin the exact same way she did for Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor).
"Just that physical moment of lifting her chin," she shared. "I did exactly the same thing with Daphne."
Per the actress, this small gesture helped her see "how it all connected."