When Bridgerton was released on Christmas day, it took over Netflix’s top ten list and as of this writing, still resides at the number one spot. If you are one of the few who hasn’t seen Shondaland’s new Netflix original series, imagine a Jane Austen erotica novel turned modern-day TV series. Bridgerton inserts small pieces of our 21st century life into a 19th century world full of not-so-subtle sexual tension. In short, the sex scenes in Bridgerton are just built differently, so much so that they needed to bring in an intimacy coordinator. And there were still plenty of challenges for her to overcome.
Intimacy coordinators are becoming more commonplace on Hollywood productions, as films and TV shows seek to craft steamy sex scenes. Lizzy Talbot held the intimacy coordinator title for Bridgerton and oversaw the show's hot and heavy sequences. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she was candid about some of the biggest challenges she faced during the show’s three-minute sex montage. In her own words:
You're working with actors that are wet; you've got to be very careful about wigs; you've got to be very careful about costume. We did a lot of work up against hard surfaces, so we've got to be able to protect the actors because that's essentially a stone floor. Also, the scenes are happening in the middle of the night and even though it's August, it's still the U.K. so it's absolutely freezing. How do we keep these actors warm during takes and in between takes? Part of that is having a fantastic costume team ready with robes and hot water bottles and standing by to swaddle them in between. And 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.
It sounds like getting busy in the 19th century alone would have been a difficult task but, when you add in all the moving parts of filming a show, it becomes near impossible and the furthest thing from sexy. I hope the cast and crew became comfortable with each other quickly because, otherwise, it sounds like things could get a little awkward.
The sex scenes in Bridgerton may have been uniquely difficult, even for someone like Lizzy Talbot, who makes a living teaching people how to accurately and safely perform sexual scenes. These challenges were due to the historical nature of the show. Between the wigs, multilayered costumes, and the protected, historical-based set, the cast and crew needed to be careful with pretty much every aspect of the scenes. In the same interview, Talbot even mentioned that the curators of the set needed to be present during the sex scenes to insure the safety of historical objects:
There were often lots of very expensive original items surrounding us. The curators at Castle Howard had to be in the room wherever we were filming, and so I'm sure that they had a very interesting time working on Bridgerton too.
The effort extended by all those involved, though, certainly paid off. Fans can’t get enough of Bridgerton and are already excited for a second season. Although another season has yet to be confirmed, the success of the series would certainly lead fans to believe more Bridgerton is in our future, and the cast is more than on board.