Meet the patriarch of the Bridgerton family.
On 25 March, audiences, and fans of Bridgerton will finally get to see Edmund Bridgerton on the hit series. Tasked with playing that important role is Rupert Evans. Ever since it was announced the character will be in season 2 of the Netflix series, fans have been in a frenzy.
After all, the character of Edmund will not just provide a new element to the Regency-era series. He will also add depth to the storyline, especially with his important ties to the family. For Rupert Evans, this role is just the latest in a wide range of acclaimed projects.
He is perhaps best known for his breakthrough role in Hellboy. In the Guillermo Del Toro film, he starred alongside Selma Blair, John Hurt and Ron Perlman as John Myers. He also took on a key role in American Pastoral with first-time director Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Connelly in 2016.
Rupert is widely recognised for his role as ‘Frank Frink’ in Amazon’s The Man In The High Castle. He can also currently be seen in the CW’s Charmed series as ‘Harry’. Still it his role as Edmund Bridgerton, which fan will be curious to know more about.
In this exclusive interview with AugustMan, we speak to the talented British actor to find out more about bringing the character to life, the appeal of the Bridgerton series, as well as his future plans in film and television.
Edmund Bridgerton is a substantial and important role, what drew you to say, yes to playing him?
Being a part of show is always an exciting thing. For me, I believe Bridgerton called to the hearts of the nation during lockdown. It just came at the right time. Sometimes that happens and I wanted to be a part of it – the costume, the actors, who wouldn’t? I love the idea of playing Edmund Bridgerton, the father, the patriarch of the family. He gets talked about a lot in season one, and that’s what really drew me to the to the role. I get to work with these wonderful actors and create this sort of real dynamic with the family.
Can you elaborate more about Edmund?
Well, what is interesting most about Edmund is that in season one, it’s very clear that he’s dead. However, he is still very much loved. As an actor, it’s exciting to be able to bring that person to life that people have spoken about.
Violet, Edmund’s wife, were obviously very in love and what happens to him (Edmund) is a real tragedy, which has completely shaped the Bridgerton family. To now have that chance to interact with the children was something I really relished. It’s also fun to really put on a costume and be in a British period drama, which I haven’t done in a while.
Your character features in flashbacks, but he’s still an integral part of the story. How was it for you as an actor to carry that responsibility?
Honestly, the great thing about getting older as an actor is that the truth of it is, you start to care a little less. That said, I still love what I do. Don’t get me wrong, I get excited every day while filming. But I suppose as time has gone by, I don’t feel the pressure or the responsibility as much and I very much see that as an opportunity to tell a story. As you said, he (Edmund) is an integral part of the story and I enjoyed being a small cog in a very big wheel.
Were you a fan of the first season?
Yes, I did enjoy season one very much and I was excited to join and be a part of the story. I believe that Bridgerton came at the right time when we were all stuck indoors. For the first time in a long time, we all had time to reflect watch television. I mean, I have two young little babies and even I had time to watch season one.
Personally, what I thought was wonderful about season one was the simplicity and the joy of the story of watching two people falling in love. This was something we all have experienced in some form or other I’m sure. We all identify with it, and I think that’s what’s so brilliant about this show. As with all great stories, whether it’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or with any great love story, that’s what we hold on to and are fascinated by.
The series is coming back for a third and fourth season. Will we see Edmond in those seasons as well?
I have absolutely no idea to be honest. The great thing about Edmund is as the head of the family, he can always pop in or out, so certainly scope for that. But I will leave that topic to the great showrunners in this instance, Chris Van Dusen. He is someone who I really respect and so yeah, that’s really a question for him.
How has this role challenged you compared to your other extensive body of work thus far?
I think every role is a challenge and it’s difficult to say what that is with Edmund, because I do not want to give anything away. All I can say is that Edmund is a good shot, which is an aspect I had to work on. You’ll see a bit of that in his character on the show. A real challenge of the part was also to feel complete relaxed, to give it a sense of reality, even when you’re wearing these costumes.
You need to be fully immersed and engrossed in the story and the character’s journey. I also had very little time to really establish a bond with my new Bridgerton family. That was certainly something that I was very aware of, and I worked harder on that aspect to help give it a better sense of reality for the show.
You’ve also expanded your career to going behind the camera in directing episodes in Charmed. Is directing another aspect of your career you will be exploring more of in the near future?
That’s very kind of you to know and ask. Yes, I have moved behind the camera and have now directed several episodes for Charmed. I would really love to direct more in the future, perhaps even a feature in the in the near future too. Its an aspect of my career that I really enjoy, and it brings new challenges.
It’s a funny thing directing, particularly American television. I thought acting was hard but directing is another thing all together. The best way I can describe is that the studio hands you the keys to this very fast and expensive car and the deal is you have eight to ten days to drive it from point A to B and you have to get it there in perfect condition.
Directing an American TV show is exactly that, really and it’s a wonderful ride. But what they don’t tell you is that along the way, there will probably be roadworks. The traffic lights are broken, and people will walk in your way screaming and asking you about 20,000 questions at the same time. It is both a big challenge and responsibility.
I look at other actors and directors like Kenneth Branagh, who has done a lot of directing and acting at the same time and I really would love to talk to him and others about it. Because it’s truly an extraordinary thing to try and pull off. It’s using a different part of your brain and I has been a real eye opener for me. It’s something I do hope to do more of it in the future.
Catch Rupert Evans in Bridgerton Season 2, premiering exclusively on Netflix on 25 March 2022.
(Photos: Ross Ferguson)