‘Bridgerton’ Season 3 Director Says Violet Witnessing #Polin’s Ballroom Exchange in the Part 1 Finale Was Ruth Gemmell’s Idea

Andrew Ahn praises the “generous, dedicated and talented” actress for wanting to be there for the development of her character

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in "Bridgerton."(Liam Daniel/Netflix)

The first four episodes of the season three of “Bridgerton” dropped on Friday and sent fans of Penelope and Colin (#Polin!) into a carriage-induced frenzy. Anthony Ahn, who directed episodes 3 and 4 (yep: those episodes), replied to a few fan questions on Twitter/X, including one about a key ballroom scene that’s left people in tatters.

Tension between the longtime friends began to build in the first episode, after Colin returned to the ton fresh off a journey that took him through 17 cities, where he presumably… learned a few things. Still hurt after the season two ender in which Colin told friends he would never pursue a relationship with her, Penelope is simultaneously happy to see her friend is back, and mad as hell.

By the end of the first episode, Colin has suggested he help Penelope, who is in her third year of the marriage market, with her quest to get married. Things start to work in her favor when she catches the eye of Lord Debling, who is prepared to propose by the fourth episode when Colin (thankfully) ruins it all.

As Colin and Penelope are locked in an intense eye exchange in the ballroom, Colin’s mother Lady Violet (Ruth Gemmell) happens to observe the entire moment. This was on purpose, Ahn revealed.

Ahn jumped into the conversation in response to a tweet from the #Polin fan account @youare_pen. They captioned a clip from the scene, “i can’t find this video literally anywhere else so it’ll have to do even though what i want to show isn’t visible but I CLOCKED SOMETHING SO HARD AND YOU NEED TO GO REWATCH IT ON NETFLIX NOW VIOLET WATCHES THIS ENTIRE INTERACTION.”

“Ruth Gemmell and I spoke about this and she wanted to be in the background of the scene so that Violet could witness this moment!” Ahn explained. Brilliance.

“These ball scenes can be tough on the actors because they’re in the background of parts of scenes they’re not in, standing there for hours. I gave Ruth the option of having Violet drift out of the ballroom in the previous section of the scene so she could go home early, but…,” he continued, “Ruth wanted to be there because it was important for her character. She’s an incredible actress, so generous, dedicated, and talented!”

Ahn also addressed another exchange between the pair that has fans chomping at the bit for the release of part two on June 13: a certain carriage scene that concluded with a full-on marriage proposal.

Fan account @colbridgertons inquired about a key physical detail from the scene “for the sake of journalism,” a question that Ahn couldn’t resist. “I KNOW ITS SUCH AN INAPPROPRIATE QUESTION TO ASK BUT FOR THE SAKE OF JOURNALISM I NEED SOMEONE TO TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM AND ASK WHO’S IDEA IT WAS TO HAVE COLIN FIX PENELOPE’S DRESS WITH ONLY A FEW FINGERS,” the account demanded.

The moment, Ahn said, was all actor Luke Newton. He explained, “I wish I could take credit for this incredible moment of… physical authenticity, but I did not give this piece of direction. It was all Luke Newton!”

Nicola Coughlan and Newton are just as thrilled as fans are with the way part 1 of season 3 has turned out. “I remember reading the book years ago and [the carriage scene] stuck out, I was like, ‘Oh, I think this show is gonna be like not ‘Downton Abbey,’ it’s gonna be pretty steamy,’” Coughlan told TheWrap. “That’s one of my favorite scenes in the show, because I’ve seen it back now and I love it.”

Newton noted that the scene is a major departure for the two. “We explore so many themes in one scene it is wild,” he explained. “It’s probably the one scene in the whole of the first half that we go through so many emotions all in the space of five minutes. It really was the dream for an actor to explore all of that in a real short space of time.”

The cliffhanger was also welcomed by both actors. “We got really excited when we were getting [the script] because we were sort of drip-fed the scripts — we didn’t get them all at once or anything — so we were like, ‘What’s going to happen next?’” Coughlan said.

The same question is on the minds of “Bridgerton” fans everywhere. Until June 13… long live Polin.


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