Bridgerton: Why a three-minute sex montage took ‘months of collaboration’

Salacious period drama has been described as ‘Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl’

Annabel Nugent
Thursday 07 January 2021 11:09
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Bridgerton trailer

Bridgerton’s creator and intimacy coordinator have revealed why one three-minute sex montage in the series took “months of collaboration” beforehand.

Since its arrival on Netflix last month, the steamy period drama has proved to be a smash hit for the network.

The show is set in Regency-era London, telling the stories of the high society young men and women entering the marriage market in search of love – and features a number of racy scenes across its eight episodes.

One scene in particular features main characters Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Bassett (Regé-Jean Page) after they have tied the knot.

The montage sees the characters have sex in numerous rooms of their new estate, including the library, a gazebo, in the rain, on a stone patio and against a statue – while an orchestral rendition of Taylor Swift’s 2015 hit “Wildest Dreams” plays in the background.

Although the adult montage runs for only three minutes, the show’s creator Chris Van Dusen, director Julie Anne Robinson and intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot opened up about how preparation and production for the montage took months of collaboration.

“I don’t think I’ve ever spent as many days on set as I have on Bridgerton,” Talbot told The Hollywood Reporter

The intimacy coordinator went on to explain how the process behind every sex scene included having phone conversations with the actors and the creative team, rehearsals ahead of filming, and facilitating conversations about what the actors felt comfortable with.

Explaining the process further, the show’s creator Van Dusen said: “It would just be [Talbot] and the two actors in a room together coming up with the choreography and working out the details, and then they would present what they were thinking to myself and the director.”

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One of the shots included in the montage sees Dynevor and Page simulating sex in London’s presitigous Reform Club, a private gentleman’s club whose members include prime ministers.

“It was so much fun that that’s what we were shooting there,” said Robinson. “It seemed like it was blowing up the conventions of that place, by the way, which was until very recently a male-only club.”

The scene’s other moments were filmed at Castle Howard, a stately historic home in York, which posed its own problems during filming. The scenes required extra supervision due to the “very expensive original items” surrounding the actors, as well as beds that “were quite narrow” for Page’s tall stature. 

“A lot of the time we were working on Regency-size beds, and although that might not seem an issue, Regé is quite tall,” said Talbot. “And also a lot of the beds were quite narrow.”

The rain presented another challenge. “You’re working with actors that are wet so you’ve got to be careful about wigs; you’ve got to be careful about costume," explained Talbot.

She added: “Also making sure that modesty garments are held on even though the actors are wet, because a lot of times they’re held on with tape or glue, and making sure that that is still in place even with doing some very energetic scenes.”

A modesty garment is worn by actors to cover their genitals when filming a sex scene.

The Netflix drama has, however, come under scrutiny over a separate sex scene that critics have said highlights a “glaring consent issue” in the show.

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