“There’s a lot of freedom and playfulness with Eloise,” exclaims Claudia Jessie, one of the co-stars of Netflix’s “Bridgerton.” The hit period drama about romance and custom in Regency era London returned for a second season in early 2022, with the season focusing on eldest son Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) as he searches for a wife. Jessie stars as headstrong and inquisitive middle daughter Eloise Bridgerton. Check out our exclusive video interview with Jessie above.
The second season of “Bridgerton” sees Eloise continuing to eschew the period’s traditions of balls and the never ending search for a husband. Jessie says she enjoys bringing out the physical comedy in those scenes portraying Eloise’s discomfort. “I’ve been gifted from the writers that Eloise is so vibrant on the page,” she claims. “But there are physical things. I think that’s my love for clowning as well.”
Much of the show’s second season saw Eloise searching for the identity of Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews), a task which becomes all the more imperative after Eloise is accused by the Queen (Golda Rosheuvel) of being Whistledown herself. Jessie believes that Eloise’s obsession with Whistledown is rooted in the young lady’s desire to break out from the traditions and customs of society. “I think this was a great way to escape that is borderline obsessive,” she argues. “Her current reality isn’t what she wants it to be.”
The season culminates in Eloise discovering that Whistledown is actually Eloise’s best friend, Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). In one of the season’s most powerful scenes, Eloise confronts Penelope with the knowledge and Eloise brutally casigates Penelope and ends their friendship. Jessie recalls both the intensity of filming the scene as well as the closeness she shared with Coughlan during those moments. “We knew we wanted to do a really good job, and then after every take we did, we’d have a little cuddle,” she recalls. “It was intense. It was a really brutal fight.”
Jessie has a very clear idea of Eloise’s trajectory in future season of the series. “She’s very much a sponge,” she says. “I think she’s got an idea of what she thinks is right and wrong. She’s got desires and she’s very staunch about stuff.” Jessie would like to see those desires and beliefs appear in a more public arena. “We’ve all got something that’s ours, that pulls us along,” she argues. “I’m excited for her to find her version of that, and then maybe it means that she gets a little bit badass and political.”
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