Season two of "Bridgerton" is just around the corner — and the show's stars are opening up to Entertainment Weekly about all the steamy drama that viewers can expect.
When the hit historical series returns to Netflix on March 25, it will focus on Lord Anthony Bridgerton, the oldest of the eight Bridgerton siblings, who's on a quest to find a wife, the show's cast members reveal in the March issue of the magazine, on newsstands Feb. 18.
Unfortunately, Anthony, played by Jonathan Bailey, is "drawn" to not one, but two women new to London: Edwina Sharma, played by Charithra Chandran, and her sister, Kate, played by Simone Ashley.
“You can understand why he’s drawn to both,” Bailey told EW. “And they’re both drawn to him in turn. It’s an interesting love triangle; it’s dangerous when it’s siblings. It’s bestial between them in a way season 1 wasn’t. They’re all animals with each other.”
Of course, the love triangle doesn't miss the eye of Penelope Featherington. The season one finale revealed that Penelope, played by Nicola Coughlan, is the force behind Lady Whistledown, the fictional author of a gossipy newsletter about London's elite.
Penelope singlehandedly proves the enduring allure of gossip, exerting influence peddling her stories in her newsletter. That's nothing to feel bad about, said Coughlan.
“She’s the most powerful woman in London,” Coughlan told EW. “Often, we perceive gossip as a very modern invention — but it really isn’t. When women had no agency in their lives, this was all they were deemed to be good for.
"So why be ashamed to participate in it?” she added.
Chandran agreed with her co-star, even if her character will surely wind up in Penelope's pages. The actor pointed out that criticizing those who gossip is inherently anti-women.
“One could argue that the negative perception of gossip is a misogynistic feature to prevent women from communicating and sharing knowledge," said Chandran.
Of course, documenting all the salacious goings-on is also an escape for Penelope, who's long harbored her own secret love for Colin (Luke Newton).
While the show's breakout star Regé-Jean Page won't return as Simon, who steamed up the screen with paramour Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), season two will still feature plenty of sexy trysts.
“There’s so many people who will go, ‘Oh, yeah, Bonkerton,’” Bailey joked of the show's reputation for lusty pairings. “But the female gaze is so important because there are many ways people communicate by sex, and what sex means, and what your body means to someone else.
"It’s important that there’s an inversion of sexuality and how people are exploited in the storytelling of sex," he added.
Though "Bridgerton" is set in an era roughly 200 years ago, its stories about women are timeless, lust and all, argued Coughlan.
“It’s going back in time and saying, ‘What were their wants and desires?’” said Coughlan. “They weren’t these one-dimensional people who just did needlework. They had real lives and wants and needs and feelings.”