When I visited the set of Bridgerton, I was most struck by the sheer number of people working on the show. What had begun as a few characters in my imagination — a dashing duke with a bit of a stutter, an eligible young lady with a loving (and occasionally smothering) family — was now a massive production, employing hundreds of people. There was Chris Van Dusen, the creator and showrunner I’d already gotten to know, but also the actors and directors, the make-up artists and set designers… even the lovely man who made me four perfect flat whites in one day.
Film is an inherently collaborative medium, and the world of Bridgerton has been expanded in a way that I could never have done by myself. Black-and-white text is now glorious colour. Characters have been brought to life by actors so talented it takes my breath away. Purists might complain that an adaptation does not follow a word-for-word rubric, but I opine that most word-for-word adaptations are disasters. Some of the worst book-to-film experiences I’ve sat through are those that attempt to too closely adhere to the source material. What works brilliantly in a novel can drag in film.
Maybe I’m looking at the process through rose-coloured glasses. Maybe I’m just lucky; when someone like Shonda Rhimes wants to adapt your novels, the entire universe gets rose-colored glasses; she’s just that good. So I never had to worry about the integrity of my creation, I only had to sit back and let the experts do their thing. I knew I was in good hands.
And you are, too. Enjoy Bridgerton. It’s not the book. It’ll never be the book. But it’s magnificent.
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