In full confinement, the heroine of The Bridgertons Chronicle, series launched on Netflix last December, did not perceive the tidal wave of notoriety sweeping over it. “I’m still in shock,” marvels the 26-year-old British actress. The trigger ? The platform’s record audience rate – 82 million households subscribed in twenty-eight days – collected by this historic soap, remix of Downton Abbey and novels by Jane Austen, mixed with Gossip Girl. In addition sensual and addictive. Because The Bridgertons Chronicle is adapted from the eponymous romance saga of Julia Quinn (I have read Editions) by a TV popess: Shonda Rhymes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal ), star producer, totally seasoned in the genre.
In video, “The Chronicle of the Bridgertons”, the announcement of season 2
Fake couple, real sex scenes
In the aristocratic London of the Regency, Phoebe Dynevor plays the naive and romantic Daphne Bridgerton, a young “debutante”, who, to avoid a forced marriage, forges an alliance of convenience with a hardened bachelor, the dashing Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). Between fiery declarations of love and scorching sex scenes, their fake couple makes sparks, the two young actors on the screen too.
Actress since the age of 14 (in the series Waterloo Road ), she had rarely been seen across the Channel, except in the series Younger, by Darren Starr (Téva), and Snatch, adapted from the film by Guy Ritchie. Today, the career of this child of the TV – a screenwriter father, an actress mother – knows a real turning point. Very solicited, the actress carefully chooses her projects in order to stand out. To last too. She just played her own “inevitably exaggerated” role in the upcoming UK remake of Ten percent (Call my Agent!) and will perform the famous Art Deco ceramist Clarice Cliff in The Colour Room. Above all, she is preparing to co-produce a series, Exciting Times, adapted from the eponymous novel by Irish author Naoise Dolan. In the middle of filming season 2 of The Bridgertons Chronicle, the actress shares with us her joy at going to the 2021 Canneséries Festival to receive the Madame Figaro Rising Star Award, which we will award to her during this prestigious and unmissable event, where the best series are unveiled of the whole world.
Madame Figaro. – The Madame Figaro Rising Star Award, which is awarded to you at Canneséries, is your first distinction. How do you feel at the idea of coming to receive him in Cannes?
Phoebe Dynevor. – It’s a huge honor! When you start, you dedicate all your energy to looking for work just to be able to practice the profession of actress. We don’t think about the rewards yet. To be recognized in this way is a great confirmation of my career, it shows that I am on the right track.
Do you remember the day you landed the role of Daphne in The Bridgertons Chronicle, who changed your life?
This is the story of a miracle! It had been nine months since I moved to Los Angeles. At each audition, I was among the finalists…, but without ever being taken. I was heartbroken and missed my family. My return flight was booked, I had asked my roommate to keep my furniture. When I was called back to The Bridgertons Chronicle, it was literally the last chance hearing. I played against Regé-Jean Page, something must have happened… When I went back to England a few days later, it was for the pre-production of Bridgerton, this time.
The success of the series is based on your duet with actor Regé-Jean Page. How do you explain this alchemy?
I believe that our energies are complementary. This alchemy cannot be invented. It’s crazy luck that it exists. For the rest, we work all our love scenes with an intimacy coordinator: we have the impression of doing stunts, because our gestures are choreographed in advance. We are never naked, we cheat with the angles of the cameras. In the end, dancing together for the ballroom scenes was much more difficult for us!
In video, the interview with actress Phoebe Dynevor
What triggered your craving for the movies?
I am incredibly lucky to have parents who support me and prove, by their success, that you should not be discouraged. This is the example of my mother, Sally Dynevor, in the same series, Coronation Street, since 1986. I have not taken acting lessons, I learned everything, from the age of 14, on the job. My father, a screenwriter, taught me to distinguish good scripts from bad ones, the nuanced roles of monolithics.
In Great Britain, you are identified with “period” series (Dickensian ,The Musketeers, after Alexandre Dumas), and you are currently shooting the second season of The Bridgertons Chronicle. How do you see the future?
I want to avoid such a quick “labeling” happening. Just after Bridgerton, I played a radically different role, that of the artist Clarice Cliff, an extraordinary personality who revolutionized English ceramics during the 1930s, in The Colour Room. You have to go towards what you love. This is really what encouraged me to also mass-produce the adaptation (on Amazon Prime) ofExciting Times (the novel by the millennial Naoise Dolan, Nothing serious, in its French translation, available from Presses de la Cité, editor’s note), the portrait of a feminist heroine, Ava, caught in a love and bisexual triangle. I have a crazy desire to play this 23-year-old character in an existential crisis. It is still an initiation novel that explores sexuality, but it is far removed from the conformism of Bridgerton.
We are living in a golden age of series. What do they represent for you?
I started my career on the small screen, so until this year I had only played in series. Finally, they enjoy greater respectability, which they deserve. TV is a great way to explore a story and a character in more detail, without being tied to the three-part structure of a movie. It allows us to go further. Daphne’s journey, from a very naive young girl to an emancipated woman, that we will see develop in season 2 of The Bridgertons Chronicle is an example.
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On your Instagram account, you regularly mention your admiration for Meryl Streep. A model ?
Absoutely. She never let herself be locked in a box. She reinvents herself with each role. It’s a career dream.
Canneseries, from 8 to 13 October, at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes and on canneseries.com.
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