Luke Thompson interview on Benedict Bridgerton’s romance in season 2 and Prince Harry

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Benedict Bridgerton has a bit in common with Prince Harry – or, at least with Prince Harry before he fell in love with Meghan, gave up the official royal role and moved to California, that is. As Bridgerton’s second oldest brother, Benedict is a quintessential “spare part”, lacking responsibility and purpose, and waiting aimlessly in the wings.

“Being the spare – like in the Prince Harry kind of thing,” said actor Luke Thompson, who plays Benedict. GTC on Zoom, “is a really difficult position to occupy because it comes with relative freedom in a particularly restricted place. But also, it is very difficult to find yourself when your whole identity is tied to what the family expects of you, and yet you’re not number one, so you’re not fully responsible. You can’t actually explore that kind of sense of responsibility because you’re just waiting. I think it’s very similar .

As evidenced by his party this season, Benedict clearly likes to have a good time. And its scenes often offer a bit of comic relief and contrast to Anthony and Kate’s tumultuous love story, and Violet and Anthony’s exploration of grief over the loss of the Edmund family patriarch. But despite the jokes, Benedict’s struggle with not knowing exactly who he is or what he wants out of life is central to his character. With his entry into the Royal Academy of Arts, he believes he has found a place where he can forge an identity outside of his somewhat overbearing family, only to realize that his older brother was instrumental in his acceptance into the program.

“There’s a nice line from Julia Quinn in the story – I’m afraid to bastardize it slightly – but she writes that Benedict wishes he was a little less a Bridgerton, and a little more himself,” says Thompson. “And so he is finding his own world. And then it turns out it’s by Anthony. It’s really poignant to try to define yourself and pull yourself out of the family unit, and then realize that maybe you’re only there because your older brother helped you.

Luke Thompson plays Benedict Bridgerton in the Netflix series Bridgertonstreaming now. Clothing by Ralph Lauren. Grooming by Alexis Day.

Lee Malone

Given that Bridgerton has already been officially renewed, the show’s writers clearly felt comfortable leaving a few storylines unresolved by the end of this season. Yes, there is a happy ending for Anthony and Kate (it’s a romance after all) but at the end of this chapter of the story, Eloise and Penelope’s friendship is in shambles and Benoît rethinks his ambitions. artistic.

“What I like about the end of the season is that in the book, Benoît is extremely discreet about his art. It suddenly becomes something that is really only for him, of which he has a little, not necessarily ashamed, but he’s really doing it for himself. And I remember watching the previous season and thinking, oh, they’re doing something different,” Thompson said..

“But where we end up in season two, it sort of sets us up for a relationship with his creativity, it’s a little more like what it is in the book, which is to say it’s is something he wanted to explore, got a bit burned by it, and now keeps to himself. Who knows where they’ll take him, but that’s my impression. And I like that idea because it’s kind of emotional to feel like you tried to explore something, it didn’t work out your way, and then quietly nurture it. I think it’s a very good idea.

anthony and benedict bridgerton
Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey and Benedict, played by Luke Thompson.

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

During our conversation, Thompson played it coyly, insisting he doesn’t know the plot for season three yet, but if the Netflix series continues to at least loosely follow Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton books and feature a different love story each season, Benedict could take center stage as the romantic protagonist of the series’ next chapter. And this season has already started hinting at what Benedict thinks about love. Viewers see him sleeping with a model from his figure drawing class and flirting with the milliner, Geneviève Delacroix, with whom he had a banter in the first season. We also hear him talk about his philosophy of love through a poem he shares with Anthony.

“Poetry is the art of revealing precious truth with words,” Benoît says, before launching into his own verse:

“What is it to really admire a woman? Look at her and feel the inspiration? with your deeds and your words, that is what the true poet describes.

This sibling swap, Thompson says, offers a “glimpse” into a side of Benedict’s personality that we’ve yet to see fully explored on the show. “There is a mystery to him. And I think he’s probably also a bit of a mystery to himself, but you get a little taste of something quite romantic,” he says.

“Benedict seems like a really take it as it comes and very open character, but to have that feeling of something pure and romantic is quite…it’s a bit of a surprise and a nice surprise.”

Thompson read An offer from a gentleman, so he knows where Julia Quinn is taking her character, but is quick to point out that the series is different from the book series. “I read Benedict’s book to get an idea, but they take the idea of ​​Julia Quinn and a lot of things from the novels, but they also do their own thing.”

benedict and eloise bridgerton
“What I love about Benedict’s relationship with Eloise is that she’s very playful and quite teasing, but there’s also this deep love at the center and this deep similarity at the center of them, which means that they can reflect on themselves through each other and offer, not necessarily advise, but offer support. I just think that’s a really beautiful bond that they have.

LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Much of the online conversation about Benedict in season one has focused on whether he might be gay or bisexual, and whether in addition to Bridgerton by changing the races of certain characters, the series could also change the gender of certain love interests. While there’s certainly some debate to be had over whether the first trailer for Bridgerton featured a bit of queerbaiting, so far the show never explicitly suggests that Benedict isn’t straight, only a member of an arts community and friends with at least one queer person. So far on screen, and in the books on which the series is based, all of Benedict’s romantic and sexual partners have been women.

An offer from a gentleman

Asked about fan conversation regarding Benedict’s sexuality, Thompson shared that there is an “opening” to Benedict’s personality, but it’s ultimately up to the writers to decide his character’s love story. .

“Benedict is clearly a very open character and it’s extremely fun to play. And I think it’s not narrowly sexual…he’s just a very open person, period,” he says. tend to think that’s really a question for the writers, because to play a character, I kind of have to let go of that side of my brain. Writers are like God, like in I just have to play with what they give me. I think there’s this openness, which is really nice to play with, but in terms of direction, I don’t know.

Fortunately, Thompson won’t have to wait too long to find out. He returns to the set to begin filming the third season “hopefully within the next few months”.

“I can’t wait to get back to it.”


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