Five minutes after Netflix announced that series two of Bridgerton had been renewed, we got the call from none other than the scheming mother of the Featherington family. Here, actress Polly Walker tells Suzanne Baum all about her excitement of the news, her four-hour costume fittings and why her determination to marry off her daughters is set to run and run….
As a super-fan of Bridgerton and someone who has a love/hate relationship with Lady Featherington, I don’t expect to greet the domineering mother with such a scream of delight when I get to interview her. However, with the long-awaited news that our favourite Netflix period drama has been confirmed for a second series I, like so many others, am super excited and can’t wait to take my hat off to the wonderful actress Polly Walker, who couldn’t be more different in real life than her controversial character.
‘I’m so excited, nervous, confident and thrilled,’ gushes the 54-year-old actress when I ask her about the new series announcement. ‘Although I was fairly confident there would be another series, there was never any guarantee, particularly as we are in the middle of a pandemic.’
Speaking from her parents Cheshire home, I am keen to get some inside secrets from the head of the Featherington family. And although Polly admits to not yet seeing any scripts, surely there must be a few hints she can drop?
‘Let’s just say it’s going to be really interesting for the Featheringtons. I’ve been told the character would have a huge storyline next season so I’m curious as to where it goes.
‘It’s going to be pretty epic because the family have lost all their money and that won’t sit well. Plus, of course the ongoing saga of marrying off my daughters will continue.’
On the subject of Philippa, Prudence and Penelope I ask what her relationship was like with them on and off set. As a mother of two children in their twenties, Polly is quick to point out her maternal feelings kicked in from the get go.
‘I was like a mother hen, always checking they were ok and supporting and nurturing them. It was such a huge production, us oldies know the score but for the newer and younger actors it can be quite intimidating and tiring.’
And on the subject of tiredness, it is no surprise Polly admits to needing a lie down after many of her costume fittings.
‘I was often up on set by 4.30am and then straight into a four hour costume fitting. At times I would end up with a migraine and need to rest.’
The Mr Selfridge and Line of Duty star is used to working on big productions but points to Bridgerton as ‘one of lavish proportions with a huge budget production. It really was quite magnificent to be a part of.’
Softly-spoken, gentle and a bundle of joy – Polly resembles none of the characteristics of Lady Featherington, of whom she admits having a soft spot for.
‘I actually feel sorry for her. I think there is a vulnerable little girl inside of her and that she is portrayed somewhat unfairly. I think she is just a woman trying to do her best and hopefully you will see more of that soon.’
With production expected to start in March…..hopefully we won’t have too long to wait!
Interview by Suzanne Baum.