Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey Says ‘The Novelty’ Of Sex Scenes ‘Has Definitely Worn Off’ For The Cast
But since it premiered on Netflix last week, the second season has been criticised for not having as much hot and heavy sex as the first. Lead actor Jonathan Bailey (who plays Viscount Anthony Bridgerton), however, says that this shouldn't be the biggest focus for fans and the media, and shares how the racy sequences are actually filmed.
"The truth is, which I feel like is going to start popping the bubble — because everyone loves to talk about the sex scenes — they're just really simple," he tells Refinery29 Australia over Zoom, sitting next to his co-stars Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran.
"They're important to the story and the half-inflated netball sounds interesting, and it is, but it is also a really essential part of the care which is to make sure we can tell the story whilst everyone's feeling safe.
"For us, the novelty has definitely worn off of sex scenes," he continues.
"It's good that hopefully in years to come, it won't be the big talking point that is is and has been through Bridgerton — very much like the [on-screen] representation."
"It’s amazing how that whole industry has just come on, even in a year. There are new tricks to the trade – little cushions – and it’s amazing what you can do with a half-inflated netball," he told the publication.
"If there are two people doing a sex scene, the rule is they must have three barriers separating them and there are certain acts where a half-inflated netball can allow for movement without having to connect physically. It’s pretty silly really and we have some hilarious moments, but it makes it less awkward."
Meanwhile, with regard to there being less friskiness in Season Two, showrunner Chris Van Dusen recently said that the decision to not feature as much sex until later in the season was intentional. It was all about witnessing the palpable sexual tension between Anthony (Bailey) and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) over time.
"It was incredibly dynamic and exciting, having those steamy scenes and all that angst and all that yearning and watching their chemistry build and build really makes the payoff worth it when we get there," Van Dusen told The Hollywood Reporter.
"We never do a sex scene for the sake of doing the sex scene, and we never will,” he added. "All the intimate scenes, they have a larger purpose. They’re all telling a story and they’re all pushing the story forward."
After being more of a supportive character to his sister Daphne Bridgerton in the first season, Bailey's character Anthony is front and centre this time around. Bailey says that the addition of Kate and Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandran) brought a new dynamic to the way that romance is explored in Season Two.
"It's a new love story, which means that it brings about new personalities, new identity — and what was mainly really thrilling is to know that we could tell this level of intimacy and everything that everyone loved about series one, but we can do it in a different way," he tells Refinery29 Australia.
"And of course, naturally by casting someone else in leading romantic roles, you're going to have a completely different experience. And that's what falling in love is for the second time, isn't it?"
Indeed, it is!
Bridgerton is now available to stream on Netflix.