“Bridgerton” Season 2 has been getting slammed with criticisms for being “sexless” but the show’s intimacy coordinator begs to differ…at least, with the number of scenes that were originally in the season.
Sure, the cast confirmed that the tense love story between Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and newcomer Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) would center on the “female gaze,” but what exactly were female viewers (any viewers) gazing at?
IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez wrote that the second installment of the hit Netflix series feels “watered down” in an effort to please a wider audience — minus those in the mood for a steamy romance. “Gone is the sexiness in favor of a more chaste series that almost everyone can watch together,” Lopez wrote.
Vanity Fair ran an article titled “Where Did All the Sex Go in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2?” and Shondaland fans took to social media to share their split take on the pent-up tension between the two new “Bridgerton” leads.
Now, “Bridgerton” intimacy coordinator Lizzy Talbot finally answers where “quite a few” of those scenes went: the metaphorical cutting room floor.
“It was the same in Season 1, there were loads of scenes that didn’t make it,” Talbot told Glamour. “We always do more than we need to so there are many options in the edit. I think that that’s a really important thing. I know people have been frustrated that there haven’t been more [sex scenes], but part of it is that we want to give our absolute best. There are loads of scenes that don’t make the final edit — that’s just the world of film. What we are really confident in is that the sex scenes that are in, we’re really proud of.”
Season 2 specifically flirted with the idea of “absolute tension,” per Talbot, and each sex scene was “highly coordinated” to convey that longing.
“I think they nailed it because two things are going on at the same time: You’ve got this building of tension, but you’ve also got so much character development going on,” Talbot said. “If there are two characters that you don’t really know, then the stakes in the intimacy scenes are so much lower.”
And the climactic payoff is worth it, according to Talbot: “You’re invested in these two after you’ve watched them for six episodes. Finally, they’re doing it and you know them really well. You’re rooting for them. You wanted this all along, and now it happens.”
The most challenging sex scene proved to be in Episode 8, with both Bailey and Ashley having to be positioned face-to-face sitting up. “It worked really beautifully, but that took a lot of figuring out because that angle and position on a Regency bed is really tricky,” Talbot said.
Plus, don’t forget about Anthony’s sensual stare during fellatio. “We were always really adamant that there needs to be a lot of eye contact between them at this moment,” Talbot added. “This isn’t a moment they’re shying away from, this is a moment they are fully engaged and committed to. I think the irony is that whenever it’s the other way around, there is so much emphasis on the female’s eyes looking up at the man. It’s really nice to be able to flip the script on that.”
Talbot promised there will be plenty more “sumptuous” simulated sex scenes come Season 3.
“Everything you can touch on ‘Bridgerton’ feels incredible. So when you are getting into those undressing scenes, the actors can really commit to it because it feels so sumptuous,” Talbot summed up. “It’s these little details that help push for amazing simulated sex scenes. Everything is that extra mile.”