Bridgerton Star Addresses Fan Speculation Regarding Benedict's Sexuality

Bridgerton finally returned to Netflix with its sophomore season, and there have been a variety of reactions to what transpired. Many viewers have been loving the South Asian representation among the lead actresses, while also lamenting the show’s noticeable lack of sex scenes this go-around. But just as interesting, perhaps, is how one question continues to hound a certain character just as much now as it did in Season 1. Fans want to know – is Benedict Bridgerton gay, straight, or something in-between? Well, his portrayer Luke Thompson has addressed all the speculation regarding Benedict’s sexuality with his own take.

Technically, both Bridgerton seasons have only shown Benedict as having romantic connections with women. However, his general acceptance of one gay couple in the first season, combined with his fixture in the fluid, bohemian art scene, has led some of us in the audience to perhaps buy into a more queer subtext for the character. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the conjecture, Luke Thompson admitted that he can see reason behind our keenness, saying,

Benedict has such a lovely openness and fluidity about him generally, and that's really, really fun to play because it could go anywhere. What I would say is that we're only in season 1 and just getting into season 2. People get very excited and they want everything to be explored in the first few seasons and every corner of sexuality, gender. Obviously, there's a way to go, so we'll see what happens with Benedict, but we're only on season 2, so there's lots of space for him to explore all sorts of things.

Truth be told, the popular Regency-era period piece has largely been able to break down racial barriers and play against type by casting people of color in what was a predominantly all-white genre prior. There remains the problem of semi-skirting complex racial history as a result, but ultimately, Bridgerton could in theory break down even more barriers regarding on-screen sexuality via Benedict. Too often in films and television do romances between a man and a woman take center stage, especially regarding historical narratives, and Bridgerton is not much of an exception. Judging by what Luke Thompson is saying, though, he’s down for such a pivot if Netflix is down.

Season 3 is expected to focus heavily on Benedict, given he is next in the line of Julia Quinn novels the show is based on. Yet, for the character to explore his sexuality in the way Bridgerton fans are interpreting, it would mean deviating from the source material quite significantly. Quinn has revealed, however, that she gives the writers pretty much free rein in the book-to-TV adaptation – so there’s some leeway then for handling the ins and outs of Benedict’s romantic life. According to Luke Thompson, he would “love” to see it happen for real, reflecting to the outlet,

As a final note, the only thing I would say is I tend not think in terms of hoping too much because an actor's job is to fully step inside the character's shoes. If I had an opinion on that, I would be one foot in and one foot out. It's very important for me to be two feet in, and that the writer is a bit of a god in the sense that they're controlling your destiny. I just need to go on the journey that they put me on. I would certainly love him to retain that because it's such a lovely quality, that fluidity and openness, but beyond that, I don't know.

Whatever is actually in the cards for the unconventional gentleman, it is compounded by speculation about the other characters’ fates in Season 3, too. And Season 2 only just premiered in March! Kate and Anthony are returning for sure, and the actors have some ideas about what they want to see happen. Not to mention, Luke Newton likewise has some ideas for the Colin/Penelope romance and another star has some interesting shirtless Theo scenes in mind…

So many ideas, so many fan theories, so little time for Bridgerton to make everyone happy. But we’ll keep you updated on any developments for the raunchy period piece, dearest reader, as well as for the remaining 2022 Netflix TV schedule!

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.