Bridgerton creator says 'steamy' Netflix period drama is 'a marriage of history and fantasy'

28 January 2021, 16:59

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

The Bridgerton creator Chris Van Busen spoke to Heart.co.uk about one of the most exciting Netflix releases of the year.

The show dubbed a mix of Gossip Girl and Downton Abbey dropped on Netflix on Christmas Day, and - if you haven't watched every episode already - you can bet that Bridgerton is about to become your new obsession.

Read more: Bridgerton is officially the biggest Netflix show of all time

The Regency era drama comes from Shondaland, the makers of Grey’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, and tells the story of an aristocratic Bridgerton family in early 19th Century London.


Bridgerton dropped on Netflix on Christmas Day
Bridgerton dropped on Netflix on Christmas Day. Picture: Netflix

Bridgerton has been described as a 'modern' take on a period drama, with showrunner Chris Van Busen describing it as a kind of period piece 'not necessarily seen before'.

Speaking to Heart.co.uk ahead of the show's release, Van Busen said the the show is 'steamy', 'funny' and 'unapologetically romantic'.

He added: "as much as I love a good period piece, I do think they’re considered a little traditional and a little conservative.

"So with Bridgerton, I set out to make a period piece that I’ve always wanted to see, and one that I haven’t necessarily seen before."

Bridgerton tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and her search for a husband
Bridgerton tells the story of Daphne Bridgerton and her search for a husband. Picture: Netflix

He continued: "Everything on the show is really filtered through a unique modern lens and there’s a contemporary sensibility to everything - to the music, to the way we edit the show, to our casting of course.

"We have an amazing sprawling cast, it’s a diverse cast, not just in terms of ethnicities, but also ages and different backgrounds.

"You also feel it with the tone of the show, things move fast in this world, people talk fast, the banter is really sharp and witty, and it’s funny. There’s a lot of humour to things. And it’s also really sexy, which you don’t always get with your traditional period shows."

The series centrally follows eldest sibling Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), who enters the marriage mart after being named 'star debutante' by Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel).

However, her efforts are obstructed by the actions of her brother Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), as well as a salacious and anonymous gossip columnist known as 'Lady Whistledown' (voiced by Julie Andrews) - who has prompted comparisons to Gossip Girl.

Speaking about the parallels between the two shows, Van Busen said: "I think that Bridgerton is its own thing.

"We do have a gossip writer on the show, Lady Whistledown, and we’re really exploring the power of the written word through that, and it’s played by Julie Andrews, which is just incredible.

"And she has just been so amazing to work with. I think it will remain a highlight for as long as I live, but that’s just one aspect of the show.

"We’re also romantic. There’s a beautiful sweeping love story at the heart of the show, and I think the show is about love, which is universal and timeless."

Bridgerton is based on a set of fictional novels written by Julia Quinn, the first - The Duke and I - published in 2000.

Golda Rosheuvel plays Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton
Golda Rosheuvel plays Queen Charlotte in Bridgerton. Picture: Netflix

Speaking about the mix of historical fact and fantasy that created the show, he said: "It is a reimagined world, we’re not a history lesson, it’s not a documentary.

"What we’re really doing with the show is marrying history and fantasy in what I think is a very exciting way."

Bridgerton is available to watch on Netflix

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