Nicola Coughlan Promises the End of Bridgerton Season 2 Will Be "Dramatic"

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Bridgerton, the Netflix period piece based on Julia Quinn’s enormously popular novels, premiered on December 25. The eight-episode first season followed the London-based Bridgerton family during a swirling social season as eldest daughter Daphne (played by Phoebe Dynevor) made her society debut, falling into a peculiar relationship with a duke—and later a prince. The show deals with the emergence of a seemingly omnipotent gossip columnists, and maneuvers the slings and arrows of Regency-era high society.

It’s a layered, delicious story made possible by a strong ensemble cast—what with the drama spreading out across multiple families, age groups, and possible romantic partners—featuring Julie Andrews, Regé-Jean Page, Freddie Stroma, Golda Rosheuvel, and many more. The show also received critical acclaim, earning 12 Emmy nominations. But will these be the only eight episodes we ever see?

Here's what we know about season two.

Season 2 is currently filming.

On January 21, a second season of Bridgerton was announced. According to a release from Netflix, "Bridgerton shall officially return for a second season... The incomparable cast of Bridgerton will return to production in the spring of 2021." The note, said to be from Lady Whistledown herself, went on to say that "This author has been reliably informed that Lord Anthony Bridgerton intends to dominate the social season."

Production on Bridgerton's sophomore season is now in progress. Chris Van Dusen, the series' creator, showrunner, and executive producer, gave fans a sneak peek at season two, sharing the name of the first episode. Van Dusen tweeted a photo of a script, reading, "'Capital R Rake' Episode #201." Historically, a "rake" was a name for a man prone to womanizing and sexual endeavors. While we don't know who exactly this "rake" is, we can infer that Bridgerton's second season will begin with the sauciness and scandal we've come to expect.

Also recently, Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony, was spotted filming with Sex Education star Simone Ashley, who is joining the series as Kate Sharma, Anthony's love interest. (In the novel, her character's name is Kate Sheffield, but creators decided she would be of Indian descent and changed her last name). In the photo below, it appears the two—along with returning cast members Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton), Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton), Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton), Ruth Gemmell (Lady Violet Bridgerton) and Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury)—were filming a scene at a horse race.

Photo credit: Splash News
Photo credit: Splash News

In another photo from set, Jessica Madsen appears to be reading a pamphlet (most likely from Lady Whistledown herself) as two friends look on. This season's costumes certainly look like they live up to the high bar set by season one.

Photo credit: Splash News
Photo credit: Splash News

Season two is set to be "a whole lot spicier."

The show's first season was particularly known for its, well, intimate scenes. Nicola Coughlan, aka Penelope Featherington, recently revealed that this component of the show would only escalate in season two.

"It's got a whole lot spicier I will say. You definitely see more sides to [Penelope]. We find out at the end of season 1 [that she's Lady Whistledown], that is there but we don't get to explore it. But the world cracks open," Coughlan told ET. "I feel like the Bridgerton world has grown and you're going to see a lot more sides to her. She's a sassy chick."

Coughlan also discussed her excitement, along with that of the whole cast, about the show's Emmy nominations.

"It was amazing! It was so exciting," she said. "It's the biggest awards in television so to be recognized by them is phenomenal. We were all super excited. We [are] in the middle of filming season 2 right now, so the new season 2 group chat was going off. It's called 'Bridger-2,' which I picked that name and felt very proud. I felt like, 'That's so smart!'"

The finale is going to be "heavy".

Nicola Coughlan, aka Penelope Featherington, recently shared some intriguing hints about filming "heavy" scenes for the season two finale, which sounds like it's going to destroy us all. "The drama has amped up a lot," she told Radio Times. "As I say, we're shooting all those big dramatic scenes for the end. It's exhausting but very satisfying."

And while she wouldn't be drawn on whether Penelope's secret alter ego, Lady Whistledown, will be exposed, Coughlan did tease that we'll be seeing a lot more of her private life in the second season. "Those final moments of series one was definitely a peek into her life," she said. "I think in series two you kind of see how the sausage gets made and all that's happening."

The first trailer offers a preview of tensions between Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma.

Watch it here:

Netflix also shared a few early stills from season two, featuring Anthony and Kate, plus Lady Danbury, Eloise Bridgerton, and Lady Violet Bridgerton.

Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Production was paused, then resumed due to Covid cases.

While the series has been filming for a while, two Covid cases forced a shut down in production. Production eventually resumed after a few weeks, picking up in full force in early August.

There are plenty of books for inspiration.

The first season of the series focuses on the coming out season of Daphne Bridgerton and her relationship with the Duke, Simon Basset—but that’s only part of the story. The bestselling Bridgerton novels, written by Julia Quinn, go on to explore the lives of all eight Bridgerton children, meaning there’s plenty more source material for a second (and third, and fourth…) season. Series creator Chris Van Dusen says, “Part of the great thing is that these books create such a massive world, and it's full of rich characters. The way that we cast the show and the stories we're telling allow us to tell such an array of stories I'm really excited about.”

Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

The stars and creators are interested—well, most of them.

Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne Bridgerton, says, “I love that [Daphne’s] story ends really nicely; it's all tied up at the end. Now, I have a feeling that she's going to have to get involved with Anthony's love life, since it's his turn next. I'm a hopeless romantic, so I'm all for the happily-ever-after ending.”

Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX
Photo credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

There will be some new cast members joining the season. Along with Ashley, there is Shelley Conn, who will play her mother. Other new faces to expect for season two include Calam Lynch, Charithra Chandran, and Rupert Young.

There will one familiar character missing, however, when we return to the series. Regé-Jean Page, who played the Duke of Hastings, has announced that he will not be coming back to Bridgerton—much to the dismay of fans who fell hard for his character.

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