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Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey Defends Season 2’s Lack of Steamy Scenes: ‘Right to Surprise the Audience’

Bridgerton’s Jonathan Defends Season 2’s Toned Down Approach to Sex
Jonathan Bailey. Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Telling a different story. Jonathan Bailey addressed the decision to scale back on the sex scenes during season 2 of Bridgerton — and for the actor, it felt like the right choice considering the circumstances.

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“What you lose in sex scenes you gain in a deeper human understanding, which hopefully enriches the world so that the future intimacy scenes won’t be the heavy feature, and [you] won’t have to lean on them as much,” Bailey, 33, told USA Today on Wednesday, March 30. “It’s right to surprise an audience and keep them on their toes a bit.”

After Bridgerton debuted on Netflix in December 2020, the steamy moments between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset (Regé Jean-Page) quickly became a major topic of conversation for fans.

During season 2, Anthony Bridgerton’s search for love gets slightly more complicated when he falls in love with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) while courting her sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran).

For Bailey, the story required there to be a decrease in graphic moments between the season 2 couple. “It would have been wrong for Kate and Anthony to have got physical any sooner than they did,” the U.K. native pointed out. “And I think the payoff is really earned.”

Related: Everything to Know About ‘Bridgerton’ Season 3

Ahead of the show’s sophomore season, showrunner Chris van Dusen also addressed the different approach that the writers took when it came to those memorable sex scenes.

Bridgerton’s Jonathan Defends Season 2’s Toned Down Approach to Sex
Kate Sharma and Anthony Bridgerton. Netflix

“It was never about quantity for us,” the creator told reporters last month. “Our approach to intimacy on the show really is the same as season 1. And we use these intimate scenes to tell a story and to push the story forward. We’ve never done a sex scene for the sake of doing a sex scene, and I don’t think we ever will.”

Dusen added: “It all serves a larger purpose and it’s a different story this season. It’s different characters. We’re with Anthony and Kate most of the [second] season and that’s very different from Daphne and Simon. And that’s really part of the draw to me of a project like this, the ability to tell these close-ended love stories of different characters season after season.”

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Ashley, 27, for her part, found the emotional intimacy between Kate and Anthony to be much more important. (The duo did consummate their relationship in the last two episodes of the season.)

“It makes sense for these characters because they’re so protective over their families and they’re so truthful to their duties and responsibilities — so for them to break that wouldn’t have made sense for the characters,” the Sex Education star added at the time. “And as Chris has said, they aren’t performative sex scenes or intimate scenes. They have a meaning behind them and I think it’s very earned when the fireworks happen.”

Bridgerton season 2 is available to stream on Netflix.

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