With the announcement that Bridgerton has officially been renewed for series two, we speak to Lady Violet about those rumours circulating that the new season will focus on her son Anthony’s quest to find a wife.
If anyone knows the secrets of the Bridgeton clan, it is indeed the matriarch of the family. For despite the calm, graceful and sweet nature of Lady Bridgerton, there lies a deep-rooted obsession with her eight children. And, although very protective of them, 53-year-old actress Ruth Gemmell is quick to point out ‘you’ll see it all in the next series, Lady Bridgerton will certainly be sticking her nose in where it may not always be wanted.’
Speaking to me from her East Midlands home, Ruth is thrilled at the prospect of returning to filming the new series. ‘I always had hope it would happen but these are such uncertain times you never know.’
So what is certain I question her is that we can expect to see Anthony’s love life played out on our screens?
‘Violet is very determined to marry her kids off and that is my main goal I think in series two. My darling son Anthony will be off on his pursuit of love and I’ll be there watching all the time.’
And what will becometh of his siblings, I ask? ‘Violet loves and adores her kids,’ Ruth tells me. ‘Don’t expect her to lose her temper with them but they will be up to some of their usual tricks and have her running round in circles.’
On that note, I have to ask Ruth what it was like preparing for the role. The costumes, heavy jewellery, hair and make-up – never mind being a mother to eight on-set kids – sounds exhausting?
‘Yes, of course it was hard but playing the part was a chance in a lifetime and everything was magnificent.’ When pushed for anything that challenged her during production, Ruth points to the corsets.
‘The dresses were stunning but it is what we wore underneath them that people can’t imagine. These Mr Pearl corsets – embraced by The Kardashians – were the challenge I faced. They were stunning but so tight to wear, especially when filming 12 hour days.
‘In fact the biggest mistake I did on set was to loosen it during a lunch break.’
The actress, well-known for her role in the film Fever Pitch, as well as TV shows Utopia, Home Fires and EastEnders, is a huge fan of her character, pointing to Lady Bridgerton as a warm, wise and strong independent woman.
‘I’m actually super envious of Violet,’ Ruth adds.
Fans of Bridgerton will know that the bee, seen at the end of season one, is a symbol of the show. In fact, readers of the books will also know that Lady Bridgeton’s late husband Edmund suffered a fatal allergic reaction to a bee and so expect to see a lot of buzzing around Anthony Bridgerton in the new series. The Viscount’s story is surely one to behold!
Interview by Suzanne Baum.