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May 9, 2024 20 mins

Inside the Ton is a 4-part special that dives deep into the genesis and journey of some of the most beloved characters from Shondaland’s Bridgerton series. This episode is all about this upcoming season’s eligible bachelor, Colin Bridgerton. Executive producer Betsy Beers is joined by Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton novels, showrunner Jess Brownell, and actor Luke Newton about bringing Colin from page to screen.

While listening to Inside The Ton, rewatch Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. Then, Binge Bridgerton season 3 on Netflix starting May 16th and immediately enjoy all the tea with us each week.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Bridgerton The Official Podcast is a production of Shondaland in
partnership with iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:10):
Welcome back to Bridgerton the Official Podcast, your exclusive peak
behind the curtain of Shondalin's Bridgerton series. We are officially
just one week away before Bridgerton returns with season three
on Netflix May sixteenth. We can hardly wink for you
to see what the season holds. I'm Betsy Beers, executive

producer Bridgerton and also your host of Inside the Time,
a deep dive into the genesis and journey of some
of the most beloved characters from the show. Now, over
the past two weeks, we've covered The Wallflower, the Rebels,
the Mamas, and now bookending this four part special is

The Eligible Bachelor. Yes, we are finally talking about our
leading man, and that would be Miss Colin Bridgerton. Joining
me in conversation are the author Julia Quinn, the showrunner
Jess Brownell, and we're also going to have the opportunity
to tap into the thoughts of the ever so charming
wait for it, Luke Newton carrying on the Bridgerton torch

in a new season. But first, come on, let's recall
the recent events in the life of mister Colin Bridgerton.
In season one, Colin spent most of his time running
around with his brothers. He was the playful but a
touch naive third eldest brother of the Bridgertons, who didn't
really know who he wanted to be. Then Marina Thompson

entered the picture. She saw Colin as a very attractive
marriage prospect and in answer to her pregnancy predicament. But
before they could run off together, Lady Whistledown called wind
of their affair and Marina scheme. With Colin's love crushed
and maybe just a piece of his naivete stripped away,
he packed his bag, said goodbye to the Ton, and

ventured off beyond the comfort of high society in London
in search of himself. In season two, Colin's time abroad
had changed him quite a bit. He was more worldly,
more adventurous, and that delighted the Ton's young women. But
he surprised everybody when he let it slip he'd sworn

off women entirely. Maybe he wasn't totally over the whole
Marina situation. Either way, Colin didn't get involved in any
romantic plots. Instead, he wandered into the world of business,
taking a stake in Jack Featherington's mind prospects. But that
new hobby was a dead end too when Colin figured
out that whole operation was a big fraud. When the

season ended, Colin's future remained unclear. No familiar duties to fulfill,
no pressing career prospects, and definitely no lingering marriage proposals,
especially after he was overheard telling his buddies he'd never
entertained the thought of courting Miss Penelope Featherington and who'd
have the misfortune of overhearing him but Penelope herself. So

we've seen Colin grow up on screen, whethering heartbreak, adventure,
and the call of a life beyond the limits of
London society. This season, he gets to come into his own,
pursuing his own love match and his own destiny. Now,
to kick off our discussion about that sweet Colin, I
sat down with the author of Romancing Mister Bridgerton and

All the Bridgerton book series, the Incredible Julia Quinn one
last time. Julian I talked about the inspiration behind Colin's
rakish character in the books and how he's translated to
the screen. Now you all know we've spoken a lot
on this podcast about what nots the TV series took
from the books. But as Bridgerton fans already know, Julia

got to go back to the world of the Bridgerton
novels when she wrote the Rokesby prequel series once the
show had already come out. So imagine my surprise when
you told me that TV Colin might actually have inspired
prequel book Colin In maybe one of the cutest ways possible.

Speaker 3 (04:12):
I do have to share with you my favorite little
bit of research I did for First Come Scandal. So
I was writing this as season one was filming. In
the last book, however, you have Anthony and Benedict as
little boys and Colin as a baby, and so they
had already been cast. And I'm not a super visual author,
so I don't usually have a big sense of how

people look at something to maybe eye color, hair color,
that sort of thing. But now I've actually had actors.
And Luke Newton texted his mom the day I met
him and got me baby pictures of him, which then
I used to describe baby Colin in the book. And
if you go to my website, this is my website
plug every book has a page, and every book page

has a section called inside the Story. And if you
go to the Romancing Mister Bridgerton page and you go
to inside the Story, you can see Luke Newton's baby
picture courtesy of his mother. I have permission to post it.
He's adorable. He's got these chubby, chubby cheeks, which is
perfect for Colin because he eats so much. And it
was just so much fun to be able to actually
visualize characters. For Anthony Benedicte, I just shrunk down Johnny

and the other Luke. But for Colin, I actually had
the baby picture.

Speaker 2 (05:20):

Speaker 3 (05:21):
It was awesome.

Speaker 2 (05:21):
Oh yeah, that's so awesome. I actually have to go
check that out because I didn't realize that that was
up there. Oh my gosh, yep. I mean, he's been
in the background of three novels before he got to
star in his own right. Did you find it was
difficult to articulate his voice as he matured, given the
fact he spends so much time sort of out of
the books, or did it stay kind of vivid in

your head?

Speaker 3 (05:42):
You know, in the books, he's actually a bit more
of a jokester in a way. That I think Benedict
has come out in the show, so I kind of
ran with that, and he's sort of like the guy
everything always seems to work out for, you know, the
one who just always seems to if he drops his toast,
always butter side up, you know, that sort of thing.
And so it just kind of ran with that, which

was nice because it brought in some nice conflict when
you know, he's complaining about something going on and Penelope
just loses it with him. It's just like, what are
you talking about? Do you have any idea how lucky
you are? You can do anything you want and you know,
And he's never thought about his own privilege in that way.

Speaker 2 (06:22):
And that's great because I would have thought, you know,
taking constantly on European trips and it would be hard
to sustain. But it sounds like it was always really
present in your brain. Did people really take world tours
at that point? I mean, how did that work? They did?

Speaker 3 (06:35):
But and this was a big, big mistake I made.
I was just had him coming back from some trip
in the Duke and I and completely forgot about the
fact that the Napoleonic Wars were going on, and he
makes a comment about France being dull or something, and
oh my gosh, I heard from like the History police
being like one of them was I remember this one

so well, being like, I don't know what universe you
live in, but in my universe, Napoleon was blah blah
blah blah blah aah. So I think actually at some
point I manage in the subsequent printing to change instead
of saying Paris was a dull wee finish, to change
it to some other city, because it's like, no, no, you
would not have been in Paris then. But it was
more a little bit before that. It was called the

Grand Tour about it. Half to a generation before him,
The Grand Tour was a huge thing and it was
something that wealthy young men did.

Speaker 2 (07:24):
To finish their education.

Speaker 3 (07:26):
They went off around Europe. But not the women. They
didn't get to do that.

Speaker 2 (07:29):
I was just press say, not the women. So with
all the stories you have, all the characters you have,
how is it that you ensure everybody's personality and motivation
stands out.

Speaker 3 (07:38):
It's all about the characters who they are, what has
happened up until this point, and I forget out what's
going on? I need to know you know where are
they in the birth order. This is why I asked you,
are you the youngest or the middle, because I think
that makes a huge difference, especially then when you know,
especially if you're a man, where you are in the
birth order means everything. What kind of parents did they have?
Did a sibling die? Because that's not uncommon then, and

so you have to know all these things that happened
before page one. And I may come up with items
and experiences for these characters that never end up in
the book, But I'd like to think that my knowing
them helps me somehow just to create a more three
dimensional character, and it helps me to understand their motivations
and their mindset a little bit more clearly, so that

it just will then inform what they do.

Speaker 2 (08:25):
And do you feel like it's the same for how
you keep romance fresh because you have this unbelievable ability
to make every single story you tell feel like the
first time. Everything's a very different approach to what the
dynamic is in a relationship.

Speaker 3 (08:41):
Well, first of all, thank you, because that's actually something
that I One of the things I actually consciously work
toward is not writing the same book over and over again. Right,
you know, I'm always very careful to tell people it's
not that we have a formula. It's not that we're following,
you know, a predetermined plot, but you do prayer. You
have to have your couple meet or re meet, and

you have to have a happy ending. Just like in
a mystery you have to open with a dead body
and you have to solve it because you do have
these parameters. I think that I wouldn't say it's easy
to write the same book over and over again, but
you can fall into that trap of you know, somebody
being like I feel like, you know, I've read six
books by this author and they all feel the same.
And so that's something that I have actively tried not

to do. One of the ways that I try to
avoid it is to sometimes shake up my process a
little bit, you know, because I've realized, I if I
don't want to change it up what I'm writing, like,
I'm still very much enjoying writing historical romance set in
you know, the regency period or twenty to thirty years
on either side of it. Whatever, changing up for how

can help with that? And you know, doing the project.
The Queen Charlotte book with Shonda was a fabulous experience.
I've never worked off source material before, and right, yeah,
it is so interesting and so different and again and
just use a totally different part of the writing brain.
And I think coming up with us some ways to
change how you're doing it can sort of shake things

up a little bit.

Speaker 2 (10:13):
We'll be right back after this short break. Welcome back
to Bridgerton the official podcast. Julia and I had a
blast talking about Colin and it's not easy to be
a middle brother in the Bridgerton TV universe. Colin is

still clearly trying to find his place in the world,
I think, mostly by traveling a lot, something that makes him,
by the way, quite the catch in this marriage season,
not just for the ladies of the Ton, but you know,
of course for audiences too. So after two years of
metaphorically sitting on the sidelines, Colin is finally front and center.
So I finished off my conversations with the amazing writer

and Bridgerton's showrunner Jess Brownell by getting into Collin's role
in our series thus far. You know what goes into
crafting a leading man. I mean, we've gone from sort
of a little brother who clearly in season one is
desperate to prove that he can take on responsibility, and

he steps into the whole situation with Marina and does
what he does. And then, you know, season two he
sort of seems to be in search of himself to
some degree. How does he turn into this eligible bachelor
and worthy mate for the amazing Penelope slash rustle Bound.

Speaker 4 (11:36):
Yeah, he's always been trying to find himself, like you said,
trying to project this image of who he thinks a
Regency man should be. Season one, you know, he thinks
he's ready for an engagement. Season two, he's trying to
save the Featheringtons from Jack Featherington, and you know, coming
back talking ad nauseum about his travels. So it was

something we had to square with when we entered into
season three. And we have this great device, which is
that every summer Colin goes on a big, big trip.
You know what happens on big big trips. You learn
a lot of lessons, You learn a lot about yourself,
You do a lot of soul searching. Last season it
didn't necessarily help him get any clarity, but I think

this year it did. He spent a little more time alone,
he maybe spent some time writing his thoughts out and
when he comes back this season, he thinks he has
a clear idea of who he is and what he
brings to the table. And Luke Newton, I mean, he
brings so much to the table, so it was really

easy for him to step into that role. And you know,
it gets a little Bridgerton glow up, which we love
to see. I have to say, I think Colin's conversation
with Marina last season was really key. She said to him,
you know, you've got to stop projecting these romantic fantasies
and you've got to look at what's right in front
of you. She was kind of talking about Penelope, and

it will be a while before Colin's going to realize
that piece of it. But I do think he's trying
to focus on living in the moment what's right in
front of him, instead of projecting something that he's not.

Speaker 2 (13:14):
I think that's so well put. He's evolving into this
character where in the book, my memory is he was
more Rakish to begin with, right.

Speaker 4 (13:22):
Yep, book, Colin is has this ease, this natural charm
and playfulness, you know, very lighthearted, never bothered. But I
think for TV Colin, it made sense to have him
wrestling with a little bit more. We've seen Penelope wrestle
with quite a lot with Whistledown, and I think our

version of Whistledown she's made some bigger mistakes and had
a little bit more of a struggle than book Whistledown.
And to meet her in that story, you needed a
Colin who also is wrestling with something and figuring out
his identity at the same time, so they really have
something to share with each other.

Speaker 2 (14:03):
You've got a little bit of a long drive because
you know, Colin swore off women in season one.

Speaker 4 (14:07):
Yeah he did, he did, but I think the women
on the continent have swayed him.

Speaker 2 (14:14):
So I guess we can hopefully expect too that you're
turning him into a great romantic. This whole wisted on
thing is I mean, obviously nobody knows about it is
a big She's got a lot to unpack.

Speaker 4 (14:24):
She's got a lot to unpack. I will also say
he's got to be worthy of her because once she
finally realizes her power, which is tremendous, you know, if
he doesn't step into his own as well, then he
might not be deserving of a woman with that kind
of power. So so yes, I think Colin is giving
us the romantic side of him that we want, the

Rakish side, the confidence, and he's going to have to
fight for Penelope, if he decides that's what he wants.

Speaker 2 (14:54):
Yeah, you know, he's uh. I also think, you know,
there's a possibility he goes to Europe and he may
come back with a new way of looking at everything,
because I think it's smart when you say when you travel,
you learn things. And I always sort of feel like
with Colin, you never really know what he's going to
come back as, because he's the guy. In a weird way,
he most overtly transformed slightly, He's still Colin with that

lovely sense of humor. But I do think which is
very normal for these characters is everyone's trying on new outfits.
It's like, if Anthony's this and we all know this,
who have siblings? If Anthony's this, you know and Benedict's this,
what am I?

Speaker 4 (15:31):
He is the one who is trying on different personalities.
For sure, you've got the dooty brother and you've got
the rebel, Okay, so who am I? He's not sure.
I will say it made him a somewhat difficult character
to write. Initially, we had to really dig deep because
it's not a specific issue like Anthony, like I'm obsessed

with duty and I need to let go of that
to find love with Colin. It's this more cerebral, soul,
holistic thing of uring out what kind of man he
wants to be, figuring out what kind of person he is.
And you can try to be a certain kind of person,
but at the end of the day, he is already
a certain kind of person and he has to learn

to embrace that. He has to learn to embrace the
Colin Bridgerton who is kind, who is a little bit goofy,
a little bit sensitive, and is man enough, person enough
in every way.

Speaker 2 (16:25):
Okay, So what went into the decision that we'd end
the last season on Colin bad mouthing Penelope Because it
was really it was a really interesting tonnage. It was
sort of like, Wow, your day, couldn't get your time,
could get any worse.

Speaker 4 (16:40):
Her best friend breaks up with her, basically finds out
she's whistled down, throws some sort of deserved grief her way,
and then the boy she's loved forever says, no way,
you know, I do think that Penn has some lessons
to learn.

Speaker 2 (16:57):
I do.

Speaker 4 (16:58):
I think she's powerful and should be commended for what
she's done with Whistledown in a lot of ways, yes,
but in other ways, she's hurt some people along the way,
and I think she needed to go through the struggle
a little bit and hit a bit of a rock
bottom so that she could have some time alone figure
out who she really is and what she needs to

do to get out of that situation. And at that point,
we already knew that we wanted to do Colin and
Penelope for season three, so there was an awareness that
that moment was a good launching pad into the season.
You know, she enters with no one, which gives her
a long way to go, so dramatically it brings with

it a lot of interesting opportunities for characters.

Speaker 2 (17:44):
Yeah, I think it's a phenomenal obstacle. You know, it's
just a phenomenal obstacle for somebody who too. There's really
only one person in the world that she has trusted
besides Alouise to be who he is delightful, funny, genuine
and to hear him, sir of playing the game of
wanting to go along with the guys at the very

best scenario and the worst scenario that he fully means
it is neither as good. Thank you so much, Jess
for all of your brilliant insight and discussion. One final
piece of the puzzle, you know, before we set you

off into season three. Shondaland sat down on set with
the amazing Luke Newton, who offered a glimpse into what
it's been like to play Colin thus far in his
excitement for season three. I wonder if he's as excited
as we are.

Speaker 5 (18:39):
I feel so lucky that I got to do season
one and two as Colin as part of this incredible
ensemble and like really explore how I wanted to play
him and his development through each season. What's interesting about
Colin is that the emotional side of it is kind
of a bit pretense. It's all like a bit of
an illusion that he's created, and now I get to

the front story of this amazing show and have all
of those experiences.

Speaker 2 (19:05):
It's weird.

Speaker 5 (19:06):
It's it's like having character research, but I actually lived it.
It's like, actually insane. I get to have elements of
Colin that I've had before, but then introduce this new side,
So it's like a new job even in terms of
how much I'm going to be in and I just
get to come back and play play another version of
this guy that I've learned and loved for like three
years now.

Speaker 2 (19:29):
I have to thank my special guests Luke Newton, Jess Brennell,
and Julia Quinn. I'm your host, Betsy Beers, and thank
you for listening to Inside the time. It's been a
pleasure to explore all six of these beloved characters with
all of you. Next, mark your calendars for the new
season of Bridgerton, coming to Netflix May sixteenth, and for

Bridgerton the Official podcast companion season dropping alongside it week
by week. I'm Betsy Beers, thank you for playing, and
I'm glad I don't have to wear a corset.

Speaker 1 (20:08):
Bridgerton the Official Podcast is produced by Shondaland Audio and
Wonder Media Network. This show is executive produced by Sandy Bailey,
Alex Alcea, Lauren Homan, Jenny Kaplan, and Emily Rudder. Our
producers are Sarah Schleid, Edie Allard, and Carmen Borca Carrio.
This episode is edited by Jenny Kaplan and Emily Rudder.

Our Associate producers are Lauren Williams and Akia mcnight. If
you haven't finished binging Bridgerton, please head to Netflix so
you can enjoy these spoilers with us each week. For
more podcasts from Shondaland Audio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.
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