With a viewership of 82 million households, Netflix series BRIDGERTON became an instant hit, spicing-up our mundane lives during the Pandemic. In addition to its popularity, this Regency-era set Drama from Shonda Rhimes also received much acclaim with its bold approach to storytelling in the genre. The Series is back for a second season, arriving later this week and we got to sit-in on a junket with the Cast and Showrunner!
Jonathan Bailey (Lord Anthony Bridgerton), Simone Ashley (Kate Sharma), Charithra Chandran (Edwina Sharma), Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton), Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton), Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Polly Walker (Portia Featherington), Bessie Carter (Prudence Featherington) and Creator & Showrunner Chris Van Dusen
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen sums-up what fans can expect of this hot forthcoming season.
Van Dusen: “Fans should expect a wild, wild ride. We managed to take everything people fell in love with about the first season and put it into season two. It’s just more steam, more scandal, more sex, more sexy moments and it’s an amazing season and wild, wild ride and we’re back with an even bigger escape to 19th century London this time around.”.
Jonathan Bailey is back again as Lord Anthony and tells us about the challenges he faces. Interestingly, his Castmates admit he’s most likely to break character and giggle.
Bailey: “He’s going to commit to finding a wife, his Viscountess. So what could possibly go wrong? We’re going to explore a lot of his vulnerabilties and his anxieties, and hopefully understand some of his behaviours from the past.”.
Simone Ashley is a new addition to the BRIDGERTON family, playing Kate Sharma. She tells us about the warm reception she got from the Cast.
Ashley: “Everyone was just so warm and welcoming and it just felt really effortless I’d say, and really genuine. No one’s really performative on this show. I think everyone’s just really genuine. Such really lovely, kind people. What’s so special about this Show is that it just keeps growing, this Bridgerton universe. I was just really excited and proud to join it really.”.
Charithra Chandran joins the Cast in the second season of BRIDGERTON as Edwina Sharma, recalling what it was like being a newcomer to the Series.
Chandran: “Of course it’s nerve-wrecking when you’re joining and an established Cast and you’re just new but within a few hours of meeting everyone, it felt like we’d always been part of the family. One of the most memorable moments was when the really wonderful Lady Bridgerton looks at Simone and says ‘It feels like you have always been here, I don’t really remember a time that you weren’t’. I think she said it in passing and to me that meant the world because we just sorta managed to fit-in which is wonderful.”.
Luke Thompson tells us about what to expect from Benedict Bridgerton.
Thompson: “I think Benedict doesn’t really understand the Marriage Market, so watching Anthony muddle his way through it is really useful. I guess that’s what older brothers are for. I think Benedict is more trying to find himself creatively this season. There’s this dichotomy I identify with in being creative in their job. You think a lot of time you’re either wonderful or you’re the worst Actor in the world. And Benedict goes through that. One point he’s literally high on himself for most of the season, and then also has all these doubts. A lot of his journey is about finding out what it means to be truly creative, and take yourself as your own measurement and not compare yourself to the people.”.
Luke Newton reprises his role as Colin Bridgerton. Self-admittedly, he tells us he struggled most with dancing and coordinating that with wearing an earpiece. He talks about what his character is dealing with ahead.
Newton: “I think for Colin, after the scandal of last year, he’s returned with some interesting facial hair, and he’s sworn-off women for the time being. He’s kinda looking for business pursuits. He wants to find his place within the family. He sees his brothers, inasmuch as they’re not settled, he sees that they have ambition and drive. He’s looking for his thing. He’s done his travelling and is looking for what’s next.”.
Golda Rosheuvel returns as Queen Charlotte and this second season goes even more person into her private life.
Rosheuvel: “I think it’s really important to see her humanity. I think it’s important to see her vulnerability. I’m so grateful we have a queen who’s three-dimensional. You see her in her gown, her wigs and all the glorious opulence. But then you get to see her private life and what she’s dealing with behind the scenes. To have that to play is really important.”.
Bessie Carter returns as Prudence Featherington and talks about her character’s eagerness to marry.
Featherington: “Well, well, well. She’s desperate to get married. She’s still really trying to secure a husband because that’s what all these sweet young women had to do and it’s heartbreaking. And I think this season we see her trying even harder and we watch her following her mother’s main prerogative securing their future. Prudence is really trying to do what she’s told.”.
Polly Walker returns as Portia Featherington and talks about her character’s desperation this season.
Walker: “I think she’s still got the same kind of style. It’s kind of direct, but obviously now it’s fueled by other factors. There’s a slight desperation to it this time. She doesn’t just have the luxury of time, she’s just looking at her watch.”.
BRIDGERTON SEASON TWO arrives March 25, 2022 only on Netflix.
Shonda Rhimes has done it again! The commotion leading-up to the release of Mini-Series INVENTING ANNA has been about as manic as the lifestyle which its fallen heroine lived. And if fame is what twice-jailed ‘faux heiress’ Anna Delvey wanted, the acclaim to follow this outstanding portrait just might have been worth all the trouble she got herself into. Right?
This nine-episode Series is based on the Jessica Presler‘s New York Magazine article, “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People“. We learn about Delvey‘s (Julia Garner) rise to notoriety, defrauding banks, hotels and friends, convincing them she was a wealthy German heiress. She even technically stole a private plane. We see Delvey in her ambitious attempt to launch a social art club (think kinda like Soho House) for the rich, the “Anna Delvey Foundation“.
The story works its way backwards and then forward as we see the beginnings of a swindler at work. She falls in love with jet-setting entrepreneur Chase (Saamer Usmani) who is smitten by her genius and with him and her stylist friend Val (James Cusati-Moyer), she finds herself in exactly the right social circles to build-up her new identity. With a taste for expensive things and an air of snobbery, she created an air-tight perception that she came from money and that there was no reason to dare question that. Racking-up debts for some of her generous friends, and at some of New York’s finest hotels (without even presenting a credit card at check-in), she is a master of illusion, throwing $100 tips at staff to distract them from the truth. She has no money. We see her convince bankers that she will be able to re-pay the loans (with the help of her father) needed to build her $40 million private club dream. And then her world begins to crumble as those closest to her become divided by her actions as the truth unfolds and the questions pile-up about who Delvey really is.
The story is told from the perspective of reporter Vivian (a fictitious version of Presler, who shares a Producer credit here, played Anna Chlumsky). While we uncover who Anna Delvey is through her, we also are brought inside the expectant mother’s complicated world as well. Vivian is tasked with getting Anna to trust her with her story, in order to find her truth, and this is by no means an easy task. Anna is cold and mean, but always dangles just enough of a carrot to keep Vivian coming back. The relationship is mutually beneficial. Anna is looking for fame and for the whole world to know her story. Vivian is looking to overcome some doubts cast over her journalistic integrity and this is the story that could do it. She doesn’t know why, but she cares about Anna and this becomes more than just about being a job for her.
David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) helms INVENTING ANNA and if you are among the many who loved Prada, this Mini-Series delivers much of that cruel, toxic dynamic but in an even more generous, heaping portion. This isn’t just about Anna Delvey though, it is an exploration of what her rise and fall meant to those most closely-attached to the story. Being stuck with a $50k debut on her company credit card after an ill-fated trip to Morocco is a trauma that came to define Anna‘s friend Rachel (Katie Lowes), while also becoming a business for her. Defence Attorney Todd (Arian Moayed) takes a big risk taking on this case which could’ve been career suicide, but we witness the personal sacrifices he makes in taking this case on. Neff (Alexis Floyd) is one of the hotel staff who benefitted from Anna‘s generosity, but is taken on a wild ride after they become good friends.
This Ensemble Cast is the stuff Awards Season is made of. Garner is undeniable in this portrayal of Delvey, crafting that perfect accent that while ‘aristocratic’ is too German to be American and vice-versa. And we hear Anna‘s unavoidable Russian slip-out. It is everything. We take delight in her excitement as she circles closer and closer to that loan which could seal her fate forever, but we also are very aware it could all come crumbling down in a second once she is discovered. And that also could seal her fate forever. Occasionally, we get glimpses into Delvey‘s delicate side too and Garner is just as compelling at her loudest, screaming at her lawyer, and also at her quietest when she realizes how alone she is. She is one-part crafty and polished Fraudster, but also incredibly childlike in her tantrums. If you know Garner’s work as Ruth Langmore in Ozark, this casting makes perfect sense. Though our central subject does some deplorable things, Garner sells us on Anna‘s unapologetic essence and we were mesmerized.
Chlumsky delivers some phenomenal work as well as Vivian, drawn into Anna‘s world, relentless in her search for what made Anna who she is. She harbours a heaviness to her and it all makes sense the more we learn about her journey and her pain as well. Moayed gets the difficult task of delivering before a jury why Anna is innocent, but also has to put-up with her impossible list of demands and it is so incredibly satisfying when he finally gets to give her a piece of his mind. He excels, especially late in the Series. We aren’t too familiar with Floyd’s work, but she’s definitely on our radar now with her performance as Neff, the best friend we all need in our corner. Lowes captures perfectly the complexities of having been taken advantage of by Anna, but also the aftermath of attention and profit of telling her side of a story which the world has been invested in.
INVENTING ANNA is riveting Television and has been well worth the wait. AnnaDelvey won. It streams beginning February 11, 2022 on Netflix.