“Bridgerton” actor Simone Ashley opened up about studying the slow mating process of snails to prepare for her love scenes with co-star Jonathan Bailey.
In the interview, she shared that while she is a fan of movies such as “Pride and Prejudice,” she “never imagined” someone who looked like her would be in a period drama.
“Bridgerton” is based on author Julia Quinn’s bestselling series, which follows each of the eight Bridgerton siblings’ searches for love.
The first season of Netflix’s TV adaptation was centered around the family’s eldest daughter Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and her journey to the altar with the seemingly unattainable Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page.
The second season of the show, based on Quinn’s novel “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” focuses on the love story between a headstrong Kate Sharma, played by Ashley, and an equally headstrong Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, played by Bailey.
Known for its erotic lovemaking scenes, the show begs the question of how one even begins to prepare for such an intimate form of acting.
Ashley explained that she “explored the movement” of different animal mating practices to study how sensual or non-sensual different paces could be.
“For example, we look to how snails mate, and when snails mate, they actually produce a plasma that intertwines,” she said. “So if it was a really sensual, slow kind of scene, we’d be like, oh, it’s like the snail. And it’s super like the plasma, like falling honey.”
In contrast, dogs and chimpanzees have a “very like fast-paced and a different kind of style,” giving off a less sensual vibe, according to Ashley. The actor stated she and her co-star Bailey would approach such scenes by saying, “So this kind of scene, we’re going to make it very funny and quirky and just like silly and like, let’s think of like, this animal.”
The second season surprised audiences with the inclusion of Ashley’s Indian background into the character, incorporating traditional Hindu customs into certain scenes.
While the sight of a traditional Haldi scene was likely unthinkable for a regency-era drama prior to “Bridgerton,” Ashley expressed confidence that this may very well be just the beginning of a new standard in Hollywood.
“It was just a lot of joy,” Ashley previously said about sharing her Indian heritage in an interview with NextShark. “I felt really proud, and even more proud to receive such a warm reception, especially from South Asian women.”