Bridgerton premieres on Netflix this Christmas, giving audiences a glimpse into a world first brought to life in Julia Quinn's series of historical romance novels. Fans and newcomers alike will be delighted to know that this boldly reimagined period drama packs some serious acting talent, too. So, who narrates Bridgerton? None other than Julie Andrews, the wonderful voice of the never seen, but omniscient Lady Whistledown.
One of the most iconic actors of our time, Andrews takes on the role of this high society's Gossip Girl, so to speak, spreading the news about who's who — and more importantly, who's worth courting — in Regency-era London. Whistledown publishes a paper, which threatens the reputation and love life of our protagonist Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), when it declares her persona non grata, tanking her courting prospects.
It's this issue that drives Daphne to Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), i.e., the duke in Quinn's original book title, The Duke and I. Together, they make a plan to pretend to fall in love, which Daphne hopes will take her straight to the top of the most-desired list, and the Duke hopes will bring him a bit of peace at parties where guests constantly enquire after his bachelorhood. Naturally, Whistledown aka Andrews, talks us through the whole charade brilliantly.
The series is produced by Shonda Rhimes, who has worked with Andrews previously on another high-society-themed book adaptation: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Rhimes wrote the screenplay, adapted from Meg Cabot's novels of the same name, while Andrews played the inimitable Queen Clarisse Renaldi, grandmother to Anne Hathaway's unlikely princess, Mia Thermopolis.
Bridgerton show runner Chris Van Dusen spoke with ScreenRant about what it was like working with Andrews. "To have Julie Andrews playing this character is just incredible," he said. "I still can't believe it's actually a thing that has happened, and the world's gonna get to see it. Julie Andrews did all of her sessions virtually, but it was so fun to work with her. She's everything you would think Julie Andrews is; she's lovely and charming, and she really relishes in the cheeky things, which I thought was a lot of fun."
Indeed, Andrews' witty, incisive, bright and charming take on Bridgerton narrator Lady Whistledown is one not to be missed.
Watch Shondaland's Bridgerton on Netflix from Dec. 25.