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‘Bridgerton’ Star Luke Newton Talks Heartthrob, TikTok Status

‘Bridgerton’ Star Luke Newton Talks Heartthrob, TikTok Status

‘Bridgerton’ Star Luke Newton Talks Heartthrob, TikTok Status

When you join the Bridgerton cast, there’s always one guarantee: fans will be thirsting over you.

It’s what producers have promised since the show’s inception – Regency-era stories through an erotically unrestrained lens. The steamy Netflix hit has made superstars of Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley.

It’s Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan’s turn now, and the reception is no different. The season three stars graced the red carpet for the U.K. premiere of the final four episodes on Wednesday night. According to Netflix’s internal rankings, the first half of season three racked up 45.05 million views (total hours watched divided by running time) worldwide – about 165.2 million hours of viewing time.

Has playing Colin Bridgerton made Newton feel like the heartthrob fans now see him as? “Not really, to be honest,” Newton told The Hollywood Reporter. “I don’t know why, I feel like that’s never really something you can take in and appreciate to the full.” But Coughlan is helping him to understand their impact as this year’s stars. “Nic says that she went on TikTok yesterday and was scrolling, and every single video was us. It’s just, like, jam-packed. And even friends of mine that aren’t in this world, aren’t actors, they are seeing all of our stuff online. So it’s nice that we get to share it with everyone but I won’t ever label myself [a heartthrob]. It doesn’t feel right!”

Colin and Penelope take the intimacy to a new level in part two. It’s a relationship that “hits all the buttons,” Lady Bridgerton herself (Ruth Gemmell) told THR. The two are her favorite Bridgerton couple. “As an audience member, castmember and character, we’ve been watching these two dance around the issue for the past two seasons. So it’s really lovely to see that come to fruition and they do it beautifully.”

(Read spoilers on how that plays out in part two.)

Harriet Cains, portraying Featherington sister Philipa, said the pair have used their real-life relationship to enhance the onscreen chemistry. “I think they’ve just got a relationship that they’ve had for a long time,” she said on the red carpet. “And they’re clearly really good friends, and they’re very comfortable with each other. It’s only helped and benefited [them].”

“I think we peddle love,” Gemmell said of the show’s success. “We are big and bold, we don’t ask anything of our audience, we just ask them to get on board. It’s extravagant, it’s bright, it’s inclusive, it’s fun.” Gemmell’s character this season gets some flirtation of her own with Lord Marcus Anderson (played by Daniel Francis), another side of the character she enjoyed exploring. “She gets her little moment in the sun. It’s been nice to do something different, when they meet and it’s a crowded room she can be kind of bold and a little bit flirtatious.”

Showrunner Jess Brownell confirmed to THR that it will be another two-year wait for the next installment. As to which Bridgerton sibling will lead it — Benedict, Eloise, or Francesca — fans are kept in the dark.

“We are working to try and put the seasons out more quickly, but they do take eight months to film and then they have to be edited, and then they have to be dubbed into every language,” Brownell revealed. “And the writing takes a very long time as well, so we’re kind of on a two-year pace, we’re trying to speed up but somewhere in that range.”

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But when speaking for a postmortem interview with THR, she did tease that there are several strings to pull on in each of their futures. As Benedict continues to explore the fluidity of his sexuality, fans will be along for the ride: “Benedict reconciling breadth with depth is something we’re going to dive into pretty deeply in future seasons.”

When it comes to Eloise, Brownell noted that Claudia Jessie’s character is in a tough position because she’s different from the other young ladies in the ‘Ton. Season four will see her searching to figure out her path. “She’s more interested in cerebral pursuits at this stage of her life,” the showrunner said.

And finally, for Francesca, those who are familiar with the books know the romantic journey that lies ahead, but the third season will introduce a key character with a twist. Brownell confirmed she’s introducing the show’s first same-sex relationship with Francesca’s storyline — but when exactly that relationship will pan out is uncertain. For more spoilers, read that chat here.

The final four episodes of Bridgerton season three are streaming now on Netflix.

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