TV & Movies

14 Bridgerton Set Secrets That’ll Make You Want To Rewatch — Again

Jonathan Bailey has some explaining to do.

Secrets From The 'Bridgerton' Set. Photo Via Netflix
LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

The first product of Shonda Rhimes' $150 million Netflix deal, Bridgerton is a lavish period piece. But while the realities of the society it depicts may feel stuffy and constricting, the viewing experience is anything but. The show’s 19th-century social season feels familiar, its relationships among friends and family well-worn and authentic — and that’s not by accident, according to those who worked behind the scenes. With Season 2 already greenlit by the streaming platform, you're likely eagerly awaiting the return of more Regency-era England antics and the answers to some pressing questions that remain from Season 1. Seriously, who is the Featherington heir?

Whether it's your first or fifth time watching, there is still so much to learn about the making of the hit series. From discovering why Penelope Featherington is a Scorpio to noticing that Game of Thrones-level editing mistake, the Bridgerton universe is the gift that keeps on giving. And as you settle in for your next rewatch (you know you will, if you haven't already), these Bridgerton set secrets reveal how the Shondaland team achieved such a stellar Regency romance.

The Cast Was Immersed In 19th-Century Culture

Even before filming, the cast and crew went to great lengths to convincingly assume their new Regency-era identities. Cosmopolitan UK learned from the show's cast and showrunner, Chris Van Dusen, that the actors spent six weeks learning everything from the history of the era to horse riding, etiquette, piano, and more.

All those lessons? Worth it. Not only do the characters move, speak, and live gracefully in the 19th-century setting and all its trappings — they seem like authentic friends and families who might actually occupy space in that society together. There's a playful, comfortable vibe to more low-key scenes, like the moments before and after the visits from Daphne's suitors or when Eloise and Benedict share a cigarette and complain about their roles in society.

Colin Is Just Like The Actor Who Plays Him

As the third Bridgerton brother, Colin leans into his role as the sweet, silly one — and actor Luke Newton doesn't seem too different. In a Jan. 24 video posted on the official Bridgerton Instagram with actors Newton and Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson), the pair revealed that Newton is known to lighten the mood by making fart noises before takes. It's all an effort to make his scene partner laugh and "get a good shot." His foolproof method seems to work as intended — in scenes such as his proposal to Marina, there's a friendly liveliness underlying the dialogue.

Filming Sex Scenes In Historic Sites Proved Difficult

As Bridgerton director Julie Anne Robinson told Deadline, Daphne and Simon's sex scenes were filmed with the help of an intimacy coordinator, Lizzy Talbot, to ensure a comfortable and thoughtful filming experience. It was "an incremental approach similar to choreographing a fight," she Robinson told the outlet. The scenes, which take place shortly after Daphne and Simon's wedding, called for a careful approach, as they tread in serious themes such as consent (or lack thereof) and agency between the new couple.

But as much as Robinson, Talbot, and the crew were working to help the actors, room monitors did the same for the historic homes they were shooting in. Robinson told Deadline that room monitors were on hand while filming in the Duke's bedroom in Castle Howard — constructed more than 300 years ago — and occasionally asked the actors to "go easy on the bed" when the scenes called for intense passion.

There Were So. Many. Sets.

Bridgerton is so full of sweeping, luxurious settings that it's easy to get immersed in the dreamy digs and lose count. If you managed to keep track, though, you'd arrive at a solid 293 sets in total, as set decorator Gina Cromwell told BuzzFeed. While most scenes were shot on location, she added that some iconic moments were filmed in studios. For example, the courtyard's rain scene was actually an indoor stage where somebody could control the artificial weather, she said.

By using so many sets, the Bridgerton design team could create a world that felt real and immersive. But even eagle-eyed viewers might've missed the few that played double duty, such as the Featheringtons' dressing room, which also served as Lord Featherington's bedroom, Cromwell told BuzzFeed.

The Smallest Details Were The Most Time Consuming

Recreating Regency England took a lot of time — Cromwell told BuzzFeed that designing the Queen's garden party was the toughest due to the lack of fresh blooms as they filmed in mid-December. As a workaround, the crew sourced a bunch of fake flowers. And according to Cosmo, a set carpenter reportedly spent four months working on fireplace and windows alone, something viewers may have easily overlooked but required total dedication. This all tracks with the incredible amount of detail we see throughout the world of Bridgerton.

An Intimacy Coordinator Helped The Actors Develop Their Chemistry

Needless to say, Daphne and Simon had undeniable chemistry long before their honeymoon phase. But because those eventual scenes called for an enhanced level of comfort and confidence with each other, intimacy coordinator Talbot worked to emotionally prepare the actors in addition to overseeing the physical moments. As Phoebe Dynevor told Cosmo, Talbot "really helped us develop that kinship with each other ... and that we felt comfortable."

Jonathan Bailey Saved His Character's Undergarments

Actors from popular shows and movies often tease the special props they take home after filming wraps. This wasn't quite the case with Bridgerton. According to Cosmo, the costume department didn't allow actors to keep any mementos, but Jonathan Bailey, aka Anthony Bridgerton, did get to save one prop: the dance belt/thong that he wore below those white trousers. One thing he wasn't successful at keeping: Anthony's ring.

Casting Daphne Was A Highlight

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Shondaland fans might recognize the actor who played Simon, Regé-Jean Page, from his earlier role on For The People. Robinson told Deadline that Page was always Shonda's top choice for Simon. Casting Daphne, however, took some searching. Robinson said that she was "proudest" of casting Phoebe "because we did see A LOT of people for that role ... I was just taken by her because she is so captivating." Dynevor was actually the first actor Page read with, so she clearly left a lasting impression.

You Can See The Bridgerton House IRL

You can't literally visit Regency England, but you can certainly walk past pieces of it. Robinson told Deadline that she used to do exactly that before Bridgerton because she lived in the area. According to RadioTimes, the Bridgerton house is actually Ranger House, an art museum in Greenwich, South East London.

The Bridgertons And Featheringtons Swapped Houses

As Robinson told Deadline, the Bridgerton family was originally set to live in the house we know to be the Featheringtons', and vice versa. But she and production designer Will Hughes-Jones advocated for the swap to better reflect each family's personalities. As Robinson explained, the Featheringtons' eventual home looked "rather cold, and that was the vibe we were going with the Featheringtons," whereas the eventual Bridgerton pad was "much more of a homely home."

7,500 Costume Pieces Were Created

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Not surprisingly, the production work behind Bridgerton was incredibly detailed — especially when it came to all those beautiful costumes. Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick told Harper's Bazaar that the wardrobe department crafted about 7,500 pieces in total.

CGI Magic Brought Bridgerton To Life

According to Robinson, the process of recreating 19th-century England for Netflix took green screens, CGI, and lots of visual craftiness. As she told Deadline, production used CGI to establish a sense of closeness between the Bridgertons' and Featheringtons' homes on Grosvenor Square, even though they were far apart in real life. Robinson also explained that the team utilized green-screen extras in some scenes "to create the sense of chaos and fullness" they required.

Sex Scenes Were Filmed Surprisingly Early

You might assume the actors filmed the sex scenes later on to have as much time as possible to build a comfortable relationship with each other. But as Robinson told Deadline, this wasn't the case for Bridgerton. Certain scenes between Daphne and Simon, and Anthony and Siena, were filmed first so production could "start small with a limited number of actors," giving "hair and makeup a chance to build the rest of the cast while you are shooting a scene." But as you've already come to learn, Netflix utilized intimacy coordinators to ensure these early scenes went smoothly.

The Four-Legged Actors Were Difficult To Direct

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During an early scene involving Daphne and Anthony riding horses together, actors Dynevor and Bailey had to balance on the majestic animals, which proved to be incredibly difficult. It wasn't until after Robinson got the shots she needed that a crew member told her most period productions use a mechanical device that mimics the look of riding in real life. “Nobody mentioned it, so we have this scene, which must be very, very rare – two horses riding along," she shared with Deadline. "I think the actors, they did such a brilliant job with that scene, and I apologize to them for putting them through it.”