Phoebe Dynevor has already proven her acting mettle in the likes of Waterloo Road, Prisoners’ Wives, and Dickensian.
Scheduled to drop on Christmas Day, the luxe Regency romance – based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels of the same name – is the show that many of us have been waiting for. Because, created by Shonda Rhimes, promises to tick so many boxes.
The TV series is fun, sexy, and has the sort of star-studded cast that makes your eyes water. It boasts beautiful costumes, too, as well as lavish sets and sweeping storylines. It has Dame Julie Andrews narrating as a sort of… well, as a sort of Georgian Gossip Girl (eat your heart out, Dan Humphrey!). And, thanks to its joyfully soapy romance, it promises to utterly lift the spirits of all those who watch it, too – something which, quite frankly, we could all use right now.
Indeed, as author Otegha K. Uwagba tweeted recently: “Please drop Bridgerton early, the UK is on its knees.”
Despite the public’s pleas. though, Netflix is sticking firm to its original 25 December release date. And so, to sate our appetite for all things Bridgerton, Dynevor has shared some of her best show anecdotes with Stylist.
Here’s what we learned during our chat with the rising star.
What can you tell us about Daphne Bridgerton?
“Daphne is the eldest of the Bridgerton daughters, so she is the first to make her debut on the marriage mart and she’s waited her whole life for this moment. When we meet her, she conforms to the social pressures placed on young women at the time but as she evolves, she very much finds her voice. We watch her as she navigates the restraints of being a young woman in 1813 to discovering her sexuality, falling in love and eventually finding herself.”
What was it that first drew you to the role?
“When I first read the Bridgerton script, it blew me away. It felt so epic but underneath the grandeur and excitement were these complex, raw characters: the women had such agency and were so empowered even within the context of their time.
“Daphne on the outside is seemingly very well put together and perfectly poised but on the inside simply a very vulnerable young girl deadline with her own anxieties. The evolution of a young woman who is told nothing of the life ahead of her and doesn’t get the luxury of ‘finding herself’ was an interesting concept to me.”
What was the audition process for Bridgerton like?
“I got the first audition through in January, sent a tape off, and didn’t hear anything for months. Then I got a call to come in and meet Chris Van-Dusen and Betsy Beers, and a week after that I was reading with Regé-Jean Page.
“It all happened quite quickly after that, and I got the call the following day to tell me that I’d landed the role. I was sitting with my friend in a café and I pretty much dropped to the floor. I think I spent the rest of the day in a daze. I booked a massage to celebrate and calm myself down!”
What was it like working with Shonda Rhimes?
“Shonda is amazing and I’m such a huge fan of her work. I met her at the chemistry read and was totally in awe. She very much handed the reins over to Chris Van-Dusen, our showrunner, and we worked very closely with him. He is brilliant and had such a vision for the show. There wasn’t really a day when he wasn’t on set.”
How does Bridgerton compare to other period dramas?
“Bridgerton is its own unique world. It’s a Regency drama but like no other I’ve seen before and there’s lots of modern aspects to the show. When I first read the script, it jumped off the page because it felt so fast-paced and witty, and the characters felt so modern.
“The reason I loved the script so much was because of it portrays female desire and the female gaze in a way I haven’t seen before. It shows a young woman’s journey into discovering her sexuality and flips stereotypes in many ways.
“Simon is very much the object of Daphne’s desire and intimacy in the show is shown through her eyes. The intimate scenes are essential to telling that story and aren’t there simply for gratuitous reasons.”
And how does Stormzy come into it all?
“We rehearsed all of our dances to modern music. There’s nothing like rehearsing a waltz to a Stormzy track. It’s hard to compare it to anything!”
How were all of Bridgerton’s sex scenes handled on set?
“We had an incredible intimacy coordinator who we rehearsed with for weeks before we filmed anything. It just made us both feel very comfortable and safe when we got to set.
“We blocked it all like a stunt, every beat of every scene was choreographed so that we knew exactly what we were doing. It meant that by the time we got to set we were comfortable and prepared and I think, as an actor, that frees you up a lot.”
Why is now the right time for Bridgerton?
“I think Bridgerton transports you into a different world. It’s witty, vibrant, fun and sexy and yet its themes are relevant to the world we’re living in today.
“And, while I’ve been able to watch the show already with my family, I can’t wait to see the reaction!”
Bridgerton will be available to stream on Netflix from 25 December.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
Recommended by Kayleigh Dray
Julie Andrews unleashes her inner Gossip Girl in new Bridgerton trailer
Netflix’s Tiny Pretty Things is Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars
Shonda Rhimes’ new TV series starring Julie Andrews is here to save Christmas
Shonda Rhimes’ best films and TV shows, from Grey’s Anatomy to Crossroads