As expected, Emmy voters considered Bridgerton one of the diamonds of this year’s television season, bathing its sexy and eye-catching debut season with 12 nominations. Along with nods to its period wardrobe, casting, cinematography, directing and original music, Netflix’s regency-era Shondaland series landed two major appointments: one for featured actor in a shooting star drama series. Regé-Jean Page, and another for outstanding drama series.
Page’s nomination will likely be his first and last in Bridgerton, as the actor abruptly left the show before the second season. In a phone call with VF, Bridgerton creator, executive, showrunner and first-time Emmy nominee Chris Van Dusen said there is no love between Page and the cast and crew, and said he “couldn’t be more proud and happy” for Page and his nomination.
We chatted with Van Dusen about how he found out he was an Emmy nominee, working with Page and editing the first few episodes of Bridgerton the second season.
Vanity Fair: These nominations should be exciting:Bridgerton it is the first program you have created.
Chris Van Dusen: Yes, it is the first program that I created and presented. I always hoped that people would find him and fall in love with him. But he certainly could never have anticipated this level of response and reception.
It’s been a while since Bridgerton hit Netflix in December 2020. Were you worried about how long it’s been and how that might affect your Emmys chances?
You know, I’ve been so busy in season two that we’re in the middle of this moment. So I tried to get it out of my mind a bit. Until this morning, of course. [laughs]
Where were you when you heard the news?
In fact, I’m back in Los Angeles working on the show, editing the second season. I was in the car with my husband and we had just dropped off our three-year-old son at daycare when the text messages started coming in. I think we cried well for a minute and then we did it together. And we are looking forward to celebrating later.
Do you already know how you are going to celebrate?
We could keep it small and open a few bottles of champagne. I wish I could have been back in London today with my cast and crew from there. I know they are celebrating too. In fact, we are in the middle of the second season of filming right now.
Have you talked to Bridgerton producer Shonda Rhimes, or someone specifically from the cast or crew?
Yes, I spoke to her. I spoke to wonderful partners at Shondaland and Netflix and Regé, of course.
It’s great that you connected, even though he doesn’t continue with the show.
It was a great privilege to work with Regé. He is our duke and I believe he will always be our duke. And I know he’s about to continue to enchant the world in truly amazing ways. So I couldn’t be happier for him.
As for the second season, do you feel more or less pressure now that you have all these Emmy nominations under your belt?
To be honest, with this show there was always some pressure for me. It is the first program that I created, the first program that I presented. And these books that the show was inspired by, they have such a passionate and rabid following, and fans of the books are so passionate about these stories and these characters. So there was a healthy kind of pressure that obviously, from season one, worked. So yeah, I think keep up the pressure.
Is there anything you can tell us about the second season?
Yes, I go back and forth between Los Angeles and London. I just got to the editing area and just watched our first couple of episodes of the new season, and I don’t think people are ready. [laughs]. [It has] everything I think people liked so much about the first season, but more. I think we will return with an even greater escape to the London regency of the 19th century. We have a new family that we are going to meet, the Sharma family, and we will really fill our world in an incredible way. Kate Sharma, played by Simone ashley, she is truly a force to be reckoned with. And paired with Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey“The two together are simply magnetic.” You can’t take your eyes off them when they’re on screen together.
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