Making an impression. While some Bridgerton fans fell in love with the Netflix dramas’s chaste courtship traditions, many viewers just couldn’t stop talking about those steamy sex scenes — including the cast.
“I love [Daphne’s] coming-of-age story and her sexual awakening. … My first-ever scene was in episode six, where Simon [Regé-Jean Page] is going down on Daphne,” season 1 leading lady Phoebe Dynevor revealed during an interview with Grazia UK in December 2020. “And it was so great, because it felt safe and fun: you choreograph it like a stunt or a dance. It’s crazy to me that that hasn’t been there in the past.”
Page, who played Daphne’s love interest, noted that he wasn’t expecting the widespread reaction to the hit Netflix series after it debuted in December 2020.
“No one was sufficiently prepared. I wasn’t sufficiently prepared, and I was there,” he said during The Hollywood Reporter‘s Emmy Roundtable series in June 2021. “I think people were grateful for the intensity of the romantic aspects of Bridgerton; I’m not sure how grateful I was to watch it for myself. It was overwhelming. But I think people were looking to be overwhelmed.”
Ahead of season 2, showrunner Chris van Dusen opened up about taking the series in a new direction when it came to those graphic love scenes.
“It was never about quantity for us,” the creator told reporters in March 2022. “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 (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) 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.”
Ashley, for her part, defended the decision to focus on emotional intimacy over sex scenes. “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 said 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.”
For Bailey, the heavy chemistry and tension meant more when it came to Kate and Anthony’s slow burn story.
“I think Kate and Anthony feel explicit in the way that they feel naked in front of each other. I think that’s also a very interesting, cerebral way of exploring that innate sexuality, and I think it bodes really well for the following seasons, to not just be about sex,” the U.K. native shared during the press conference. “That is a huge part of it, but there are so many other amazing things that are explored and will be explored going forward.”
Scroll down for the steamiest Bridgerton moments throughout the seasons: