Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey has said working with Simone Ashley during the filming of the much-anticipated second series was a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience.
The new series of the Regency-era drama shifts its focus to the tumultuous courtship between Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, played by Bailey, and Ashley’s character Kate Sharma.
Bailey, 33, featured as Phoebe Dynevor’s on-screen brother in the first series and now takes the lead role.
Walking a grass carpet at the UK premiere in London’s Tate Modern, Bailey said it was a “privilege” to tell Anthony’s story in the new series.
He told the PA news agency: “I had read the book and he is a complicated fellow and his relationship with Kate is very different to series one but no less intoxicating, so it was great.
“I think hitting certain scenes with Simone was the highlight throughout, it was such a good companionship and teamwork vibes.
“That is something that is going to be once in a lifetime and never be the same again, telling that sort of romantic story.
“There is some sweet passion coming your way, long yearning looks and aching hearts, watch out for those.”
At the world premiere on Tuesday evening, hosted by radio presenter Clara Amfo, Ashley revealed horse-riding in the park with Bailey was her series highlight.
Speaking about when she discovered she would star in Bridgerton, she told PA: “I think I was on a movie at the time in my trailer and I couldn’t tell anyone.
“I had to put my phone on to flight mode and everyone was talking about Bridgerton, about what was going to happen in season two, and I had to stand there and keep my mouth shut.
“I always say it was effortless, I fell into the family.”
Bridgerton became the most-watched show on Netflix when it was released on Christmas Day 2020.
The hit show, based on a series of books of the same name by Julia Quinn, follows the eight siblings of the Bridgerton family as they attempt to find love.
At the premiere, Luke Newton, who plays Colin Bridgerton, revealed that Bailey has been keeping a journal of tips to pass down to the Bridgerton boys when the “baton” is passed to them in the series.
Speaking about the journal, Bailey added: “That would be revealing all the secrets, it’s going to be amazing once it gets to it, I’m going to be a very proud older brother when I see.
“There is no show like Bridgerton, I don’t think, that I have ever seen in the way the baton is passed, and I will be so looking forward to the future.”
Golda Rosheuvel, who plays Queen Charlotte, praised Bailey for being an “exquisite actor”, adding that she was thrilled “to see him rise to the challenge” as lead actor in the show.
Speaking about diversity and representation in the programme, Rosheuvel told PA: “Because of Bridgerton I think the conversation has to change, especially in this genre, period drama, and I think the doors are wide open now for possibilities.”
Nicola Coughlan, who reprises her role as Penelope Featherington, was scheduled to attend the premiere but had to cancel after catching Covid-19.
In a post on Instagram, she said: “So I’ve been struck down with Miss Rona and I’m missing our first premiere- heartbroken is an understatement but sending so much love to my gorgeous cast mates who I hope have the best night.”
Bridgerton series two, produced by Shonda Rhimes, arrives on Netflix on March 25.