‘Bridgerton’ stars Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor know they have amazing chemistry
Paging Lady Whistledown: The stars of “Bridgerton” have served us some piping hot tea about their offscreen relationship.
Netflix’s hottest new onscreen couple, Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor, appeared remotely on “Good Morning America” Wednesday to discuss their chemistry on Shonda Rhimes’ juicy period drama (insert side-eye emoji here).
The English actors star as Simon Basset — a.k.a. the Duke of Hastings — and Daphne Bridgerton, respectively, in the buzzy series based on Julia Quinn’s bestselling novels about love and lust in Regency-era England.
“Chemistry is probably the easiest part because Phoebe is lovely,” Page said of his costar. “And we were working with such wonderful material. The characters already existed. These are bestselling books — people love them — and they have great chemistry in the books. All we had to do was channel through this amazing chemistry that already existed.”
Also key to their onscreen romance was an intimacy coordinator, a role that has become an increasingly common presence on film and TV sets in recent years. Intimacy coordinators are hired to foster a safe environment for cast members filming intimate scenes involving physical contact, of which there are many on “Bridgerton.”
“It was so great to have an intimacy coordinator,” Dynevor said. “We blocked every scene weeks before we started, so by the time we got to set, we knew exactly what we were doing, and we both felt safe, and it made the whole experience a lot easier and nicer for both of us.”
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Throughout the series, Page and Dynevor’s characters attend several lavish parties, where they promenade and dance the night away in an attempt, at first, to fool onlookers into believing they are an item. Those sequences — often set to instrumental versions of pop hits by Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, among others — involve intricate choreography that required “a lot of rehearsal,” according to Page.
“And then, when you thought you’d rehearsed enough — more rehearsal,” he said. “Phoebe and I would call each other up at the weekend, after spending a week rehearsing, going, ‘Hey, I’ve got Sunday free. Do you want to practice the dance some more?’
“We’d go around and trip over each other’s feet for a couple of hours. But that’s a wonderful way to get to know someone — and to get to trust someone because they have to literally catch you when you fall.”
After #metoo, the actors’ union releases guidelines for the use of intimacy coordinators on film sets to help protect actors from abuse.
The costars also dished on experiencing their newfound fame in quarantine after scoring coveted lead roles in Rhimes’ debut project for Netflix. The streamer struck a landmark deal with the mega-producer behind “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2017.
“It’s so surreal,” Dynevor said. “Me and Regé just checked in with each other because a lot’s changed in a few days.”
“It’s great because — at a time when we’re not allowed to be together in communal spaces and have this community — the show’s been a way for people to build that online because people are so excited, and they get to talk about it,” Page added. “But at the same time, you don’t have to do that thing where you go to the grocery store and it takes you, like, 30 minutes more to get to the checkout because you’re attracting everyone.”
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes gives Regency-era London the “Scandal” treatment in her first project for the streamer, based on the romances of Julia Quinn.
There’s been no official word yet from Netflix on a potential second season of “Bridgerton,” but creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen recently told A.V. Club he does “have a plan” to adapt more of Quinn’s steamy saga should the series move forward.
“We know there are eight ‘Bridgerton’ books, there are eight Bridgerton siblings,” he said. “And in success I would love to be able to explore stories for all the Bridgerton children, of course.”
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