A cast WhatsApp, dance lessons and sex scenes: The filming secrets behind Bridgerton
Each episode cost £5million to produce
It’s only January, but Bridgerton has already become what will definitely be one of the stand out series of the year. It’s been streamed by 63 million households, making it Netflix’s fifth biggest original series launched to date. So if you’re after some of the biggest secrets behind filming and producing a huge hit series like Bridgerton, we’ve got some pretty juicy ones here.
Think the millions of pounds which went into creating the show, the blood, sweat and tears of making all the costumes from scratch, makeup on bums (yes, really), dance lessons and cast members being thrown into the deep end filming their most saucy scenes on their first days. Here are some of the wildest production and filming secrets behind the making of Netflix series Bridgerton.
Filming took nine months and was all before the pandemic struck
Praise the Lord that Bridgerton was all done and dusted with filming before we were struck with the pandemic. Filming for the series started in July 2019 and finished in February 2020 – literally just before the first lockdown.
Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, told Cosmo that filming was like a “summer camp” and the boys always had games of FIFA going and there was a “coffee crew” on hand. “On a nice day, everyone would just sort of sunbathe and roll around in their corsets, so there was always something going on” he added.
Each episode cost £5million to make
Pretty much everything on the set was expensive. The wallpaper cost around £1,ooo a drop, there were 30 giant bespoke rugs made and according to the Times, a single carpenter spent four months on just making the fireplaces and windows. At one point there were more people working on set than it took to create Star Wars.
It’s been revealed that each episode of the Netflix period drama cost around £5million to create. This includes the making of sets and costumes (more on that later). So if you think it looks glitzy and over the top, that’s because it really, really is.
The cast went to a ‘regency bootcamp’ including dance lessons to prepare them for filming the ball scenes
To help them get into character, the cast was sent to a bootcamp for a month to learn about all things the Regency era. They were taught things like horse riding, Regency history, etiquette and had dance and piano lessons.
Regé-Jean Page, who plays the Duke of Hastings, has confirmed the cast members were given dance lessons ahead of filming all the elaborate ball scenes. He said they were “immensely well-prepared” and spent “a lot of time in each other’s arms before we even hit the set.” He added: “And so once you’ve spent that many hours on the dance floor with someone, being close to someone, literally catching each other when you fall—and we didn’t fall because we weren’t brilliant dancers—then a lot of it happens quite organically.”
The cast are all best friends now
It only takes a quick look on all of their Instagram accounts to see that the cast all adore one another. They are filled with fun snaps together on and off set. They were together filming closely for nine months, so it’s no surprise. Jonathan Bailey told Cosmo: “Phoebe, who plays Daphne, has now become a best friend and I feel incredibly proud and protective of her as well as an older brother. I think when you’re playing a family, a lot of the friendships just blossom from there.”
There’s a cast WhatsApp group chat, of course
Now that the cast are all besties, you’ll be pleased to know they have all been keeping in touch. Jonathan Bailey told Cosmo they have a WhatsApp group with “full attendance” from all cast members. Honestly, that makes my heart so full.
The cast members weren’t allowed to take home any props or souvenirs
You might think that having worked on such a huge production, the cast members could pinch a bit of the set or keep an accessory or something as a souvenir. But no, apparently the cast were not allowed to take anything home with them after filming. Jonathan Bailey tried to take home Anthony Bridgerton’s signet ring but was “pulled back in” by the costume team.
Anthony Bridgerton had makeup applied to his bum to make it look shinier
In an interview on Lorraine, Jonathan Bailey has said he had makeup applied to his bum to make it look shinier in some of the show’s sex scenes. In the interview, a picture was shown of him having what looked like liquid foundation applied to his bum. He said: “That was my first scene. Funnily enough I think you blurred out part of the bum which makes it look like she’s painted over it.”
He said that whilst filming the scene someone requested to call in makeup, and it was to “shine the botty”.
If you were impressed by the costumes, they took over five months to prepare
The costumes for Bridgerton were designed by 71-year-old Ellen Mirojnick, who says its the biggest show she has ever worked on (and she’s worked on films such as Basic Instinct, Fatal Attraction and Wall Street – so that’s a big deal). There were over 7,500 pieces used in season one and they were all made from scratch, which is virtually unheard of – most period dramas hire pre-made costumes. For Daphne alone, there were 104 pieces made.
There were over 200 people working behind the scenes on just the costumes alone
As we’ve already established, Bridgerton is a drama all about the costumes. According to the Times, costume designer Ellen Mirojnick lead a team of 238 people who worked on them, and them alone. She told Vogue this is inclusive of the pattern cutters, a corset maker, a tailoring department, an embellishing department and embroiderers. She added that it was like having a “Bridgerton city of elves” working together.
Every sex scene was heavily choreographed and the cast worked with an intimacy coordinator
In an interview with E! News, Phoebe Dynevor says she is “really proud” of the sex scenes and how they “worked really hard to make them feel real”. Her and Regé-Jean Page worked closely with an intimacy coordinator to put together the scenes which she says felt more like “intricate stunts”.
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen added: “It was all so that the cast would feel comfortable, and we all we really left it in their hands to take the scenes for as far as they wanted to take them. Those scenes were heavily choreographed, much like an action sequence, like ‘Your hand goes here, your leg goes there.’ They were all really, really rehearsed.”
The first scene Phoebe Dynevor filmed was a racy sex scene
If you thought the cast might break the ice and do some of the more relaxed scenes first you thought wrong, as the first scene filmed with Daphne’s character was a sex scene. The first bit of filming Phoebe did was for episode six, when the Duke is going down on Daphne. Get stuck straight in, right?
Bridgerton is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.