"The female gaze is brilliant:" Why Phoebe Dynevor is proud of Bridgerton's sex scenes
"It was such an important aspect to the story."
Bridgerton's Phoebe Dynevor has said that she is proud of the new Netflix series' sex scenes.
The actor, who played Daphne Bridgerton in the new Shondaland production, says that the scenes are particularly important to show her character's development as the narrative progresses.
Daphne, she says, who has just been introduced into society, "feels discomfort is a good thing in the beginning.
"She's thinking if I'm uncomfortable then I must be doing something right," says Dynevor. "When we meet her she's thinking if she's conforming to social expectations that'll help her find a match."
Co-star Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, adds: "There's such an expectation of the narrative of their lives. They will meet the love of their lives, nothing will be in their way, and they will be happy.
"As a woman you're expected to be that way. If your husband's comfortable then you're doing well. That's why it's important for audiences to see [these scenes], it transcends that time period."
Both Dynevor and Bailey worked with an intimacy coordinator during their time on the show. A relatively new addition to TV and film sets, an intimacy coordinator will ensure the well-being of all cast members shooting sex scenes.
Demand for intimacy coordinators rose in the wake of Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse cases and the subsequent #MeToo movement. Many performers spoke out saying that they did not feel protected during intimate scenes and that they had, in some cases, been taken advantage of.
Dynevor, who worked closely with an intimacy coordinator on Bridgerton, says that their presence made the scenes "even better."
"It is important for Daphne's sexual awakening and the empowerment that comes with that," she says. "She's finding her voice and her sexuality. It was such an important aspect to the story and we worked with an incredible intimacy coordinator who allowed us to feel comfortable.
"It's quite surprising that a lot of shows haven't used them before because in my opinion they make the scenes even better. You feel really safe and free to go for it knowing you're not going to be exposed in any way."
Dynevor adds that the series' portrayal of sex often shifts the power from men to women - a portrayal of the Victorian era that is next to non existent in popular culture.
"The female gaze in the show is brilliant," she says. "The classic 'James Bond shot' is the man in bed with his hands behind his head with the woman undressing in front of him. We see her naked but you don't see the man.
"In this show we do the opposite, Daphne's the one in bed and we see Simon sexualised. And it's not just for the female gaze either, it's for Daphne's journey in finding her sexuality. I'm really proud of that."
Bridgerton is streaming on Netflix now.