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You’ll likely know the second season of Netflix’s sauciest period drama Bridgerton is out in just a few weeks.
The first series was watched by a record-breaking 82 million households the month, only beaten by Squid Game (which garnered 111 million household views last September).
This season follows the journey of Lord Anthony Bridgerton, the oldest Bridgerton brother, played by actor Jonathan Bailey. While interviewing about the new series, he spoke about his character’s toxic masculinity, laughter on set – and a rather key prop used by the actors to make sure sex scenes feel, ahem, realistic.
You’ll have heard that the steamier scenes are actually directed by a specialist intimacy coordinator, Elizabeth Talbot, who utilised the use of props to make sure actors were comfortable filming certain scenes.
One of the show’s best kept secrets? That a deflated netball actually stands in to look like a man’s you-know-what fairly regularly.
Bailey said in an interview with Radio Times: “It’s amazing how that whole industry has just come on, even in a year. There are new tricks to the trade [like] little cushions, and it’s amazing what you can do with a half-inflated netball.”
“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.”
He also went on to touch on the main plotlines his character tackles this season – hinting that toxic masculinity and how it affects those around you is an overarching theme.
“It’s interesting to get behind these Heathcliff and Darcy characters and explore why romantic male figures are so harsh and toxic towards women,” he shares.
Charithra Chandran plays Edwina Sharma in the series, one of his love interests.
On getting the part, Chandran said: “I had a job offer at a company and they offered me a year out, to travel or do a Master’s. I thought: ‘I’m going to use this year and get all the acting out of my system and then I can settle into the 60-hour-a-week job.”
“Six months later, the pandemic happened. But before that I’d had the best six months of my life doing local theatre and short films. Something clicked – I had finally found my purpose.”
Chandran said: “I had people at university tell me: ‘You only got the lead in that show because they needed to have a person of colour in it.’”
As an actor of Indian descent, she “knew there would be fewer roles open to me”, adding: “Bridgerton totally changed that.”
Bridgerton returns on March 25.