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New Bridgerton series pays ‘homage’ to Colin Firth wet shirt scene, creator says

Jonathan Bailey has a Colin Firth moment as Anthony Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Jonathan Bailey has a Colin Firth moment as Anthony Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

The second series of Bridgerton pays “homage” to the famous scene in the BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice when Colin Firth emerged from a lake in a wet shirt, according to the show’s creator Chris Van Dusen.

The return of the hit Netflix period drama shifts focus from Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne Bridgerton to her brother Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey.

The new episodes, which launched on Netflix on Friday, include a scene where Bailey emerges from a lake in a soaking wet white shirt. Showrunner Van Dusen has said this is a deliberate tribute to Firth’s famous moment as Mr Darcy in the Jane Austen classic.

He told the PA news agency: “I was a big fan of the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride And Prejudice with Colin Firth emerging from that lake in his white shirt, and we paid homage to it this season with Anthony Bridgerton emerging from that lake in that white shirt that we went through many costume tests on.

“We did so much research into getting the right fabric, just clinging enough, just see-through enough, that made that a really fun moment.

“I think there are Easter eggs like that all through the season and it’s what I love about this genre.

“It’s what I love about the period pieces in general, while they’re considered a little traditional, conservative, this show was never going to be like that.

Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma and Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

“I always wanted to push the envelope with the show and create something fresh and turn up the volume and do something exciting.”

The first series made headlines for its raunchy sex scenes between Dynevor and co-star Rege-Jean Page, but Van Dusen said there is less sex in the second series due to the different nature of the story.

He said: “We never had a certain number of sex scenes we needed to hit in a season, we didn’t feel that way for season one. We didn’t feel that way for season two.

“Our approach to the intimacy on the show remained the same and that’s that we never do a sex scene for the sake of doing a sex scene, we never will do that.

“These intimate scenes are there to tell a story and they serve a much greater, larger purpose.

“This season we’re following this amazingly fraught and complex and charged enemies-to-lovers love story and there’s something so sexy about that.

“All of the hand holding and the hand touches and the finger grazes and the longing looks across the room, those are incredibly steamy, and there’s so much sexual tension on the screen that’s just bubbling underneath the surface from the very moment Anthony and Kate (played by Simone Ashley) meet, all the way to the end all the way towards this incredible satisfying payoff, this climax, if you will.

“It’s part of the journey, it’s part of this story and we told the story that was true to these characters, and I feel really good about it.”

The second season of Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix now.

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