Bridgerton’s casting director reveals why her inbox regularly gets flooded with NSFW audition tapes

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jul 9, 2024 at 12:27 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

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If you’ve never watched Bridgerton on Netflix, it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s one of the streaming giant’s most successful shows to date, filled with gorgeous Regency costumes, orchestral covers of all your favourite pop anthems, and of course, steamy, female pleasure-focused sex scenes. Interestingly, Bridgerton’s NSFW (Not Safe For Work) reputation has led to the submission of multiple horny audition tapes, as revealed by the series’ casting director. Here’s the dirt.

According to Bridgerton’s casting director Kelly Valentine Hendry, her email inbox regularly gets flooded with sexy, unsolicited auditions of wanna-be stars who are eager to make it onto the show’s next season.

“It’s every day… I get the most unbelievable videos, unsolicited,” Hendry said during an appearance on the Should I Delete That? podcast hosted by Em Clarkson and Alex Light.

She further explained that the submissions almost exclusively cater to the show’s raunchier side. “It’s basically sex,” Hendry specified.

The casting director has worked on the Netflix period drama since it first aired in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in December 2020. Bridgerton notably made a splash with its release and was quickly crowned as the most-watched English-language television series the streaming provider has released, like ever.

Its modernisation of the historical romance genre with a playful Gossip Girl twist quickly captured viewers’ hearts globally. And this heartbeat was, of course, regularly accelerated with its passionate and spicy sex scenes. Bridgerton’s approach to intimacy famously managed to capture women and nudity in a way that was respectful rather than voyeuristic and exploitative.

“There’s one scene where I’m very naked on camera, and that was my idea, my choice,” Nicola Coughlan, who starred as Penelope Featherington in the show, said during an interview with Stylist. “It just felt like the biggest ‘fuck you’ to all the conversation surrounding my body; it was amazingly empowering.”

The casting director also addressed the significant discourse surrounding Nicola Coughlan’s sex scenes in season 3, because of her body type differing from the norm of what we typically see on TV.

“People saw her and felt represented because she’s not super thin,” Hendry said on the podcast. She later added: “If we can get to a place where it’s not discussed, that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?”

Hendry also revealed that many of the actors who reach out hoping to join the series want to star as Sophie Beckett, Benedict Bridgerton’s upcoming love interest because the role hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.

This probably explains why some actors think it might be essential to showcase their skill and willingness to do Bridgerton-esque intimacy scenes to score the coveted role, considering that confident and empowering sauciness is something the show specialises in.

Hendry went on to reveal that she constantly clears her inbox due to the NSFW spam. She noted that what she received was “not actual sex, but it’s quite punchy, the stuff that comes through to me. It’s not nude pictures, but not far off. It’s a bit sad, really.”

“I spent a good hour yesterday having to go through and having to delete [emails] because I was at 90 per cent capacity,” she said.

You can listen to the full episode here.

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