The inclusion of the Pall Mall scene was reportedly the only thing Julia Quinn insisted upon when she was consulted on the making of Bridgerton season 2 by Netflix.
The crucial scene sees Kate and Edwina Sharma join the Bridgerton siblings for a sport similar to croquet and Netflix definitely didn't disappoint.
Julia needn't have worried, because there was no way showrunner Chris Van Dusen and executive producer Shonda Rhimes would have omitted a part of the story that millions of fans were so desperate to see. Here's what the cast and crew who were involved in that iconic moment had to say on filming it...
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Executive producer Shonda Rhimes on the Pall Mall scene...
"I'm a superfan of Julia Quinn’s books, so I have probably read her books almost more than anybody. For me, the Pall Mall scene had to be in there. We really needed to see that game and that moment. But mostly we needed to capture the essence of who Kate Sharma is. Kate and Anthony are such an interesting pair, and I really wanted to make sure that we captured their essence.
"Obviously, there are things that we've added to the world, elements that we've built on. There are some very interesting surprises that I think the audience is going to love, but mostly I wanted to make sure that we were capturing that world without feeling like we had to stay true to every piece of dialogue, or every scene in the book."
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen...
"I knew from the very first time I read the Bridgerton books that I was going to include the Pall Mall scene in the show. It was never a question. It’s quintessential Bridgerton. You get that razor-sharp banter between the siblings; you get the family dynamics set on these beautiful grounds on a sprawling estate in the gorgeous countryside; it had to be included.
"It's this really fun, ruckus game full of only the best and sharpest Bridgerton banter, played in this lush, beautiful English countryside in the shadow of this amazing estate. Who wouldn't fall in love with a scene like that?"
"One of the fondest memories of this season was shooting the Pall Mall sequence. There was a point when we just set the cameras up and we let our actors play. They actually played the game, and their competitive spirits came out. It was hilarious."
Jonathan Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton...
"The Pall Mall sequence was a total highlight," adds Jonathan Bailey. "Having read the book, we were all hopeful that there would be a Pall Mall segment. And just getting all of us together is the dream. We had Phoebe Dynevor there as well, which was amazing. It took a few days to shoot, we had the most amazing weather, and it was just ridiculous and silly. As we all know, the Bridgertons are a very competitive bunch, and so is Kate, so it’s a great way to see them all interact.
"Any moment in the show where all the Bridgertons are brought together is supremely fun to film. But then on top of that, something as competitive as Pall Mall is and how competitive the Bridgertons are with each other, it's a wild, relentless, buckaroo sequence. When we look back at filming season 2, that's going to be the montage to remember."
"The person who absolutely smashed it was Luke Thompson, who plays Benedict Bridgerton. The very last thing is a hoop on a stick, a bit like a ring light, and you have to act as if you were using a putting wedge on the golf course. You have to get the ball up into the air with a flat mallet. Seeing him make that shot was one of the most glorious moments; it was like he defied gravity and everyone screamed."
Simone Ashley, who plays Kate Sharma...
"Filming the Pall Mall scene was really fun, we basically played it in real life, so there was a lot of screaming. They’re both very sporty people; Anthony fences and Kate's a great rider, and they’re both incredibly competitive," says Simone Ashley.
"The Pall Mall game forces them to play and get out of their duties as the older siblings; forget about their responsibilities and to just play with one another. That’s when they find these moments of laughter, and falling in the mud, and finding common cause. And that’s annoying when you’re like, 'Oh, I actually really don’t like you, but you’re making me laugh and loosen up.' They’re forced to let go."
Charithra Chandran, who plays Edwina Sharma...
"The Pall Mall scene is definitely the most anticipated scene of the season. I know the fans are so excited. For me, I enjoyed shooting it just because we were outside. And it was just really fun and playful. It was a bonding experience — I can’t say we were very good. But we gave it a go. And the best player? Me, obviously. Maybe not. Probably Luke Thompson. But I think I was a close second. I could give him a run for his money."
Claudia Jessie, who plays Eloise Bridgerton...
"Pall Mall is a game I do not and will never understand, but it was fun and incredibly difficult. I still don’t really know how to play it, but you’ve got a mallet and you whack a ball through some pegs until someone wins. It was intense. That’s when I had crazy hay fever. I’d spin around and things would just fly out of my face. I hope people like it, it was a lot of fun. It felt like carnage. We get really giddy when we’re all together, all us Bridgertons.
"Luke Thompson broke a mallet, which was hilarious. Then he broke a second. We couldn't believe it. But he was so professional because we all burst out laughing the minute he snapped the second one. But he just kept going. Even though it was clearly half a mallet, all jagged wood, and the cameras are on. He was just like, 'Oh, I've broken a second one but I'll just give it a go…..' The editing makes us look like we're all fantastic at the game. And we are not."
Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne Brdgerton
"It was the first time I'd really met Charithra Chandran and Simone Ashley! It was a really hot day, and we were all sweating and got very sunburnt. But we had a great time doing it. Daphne's meant to be the best player, but I was probably the worst player. Charithra plays Edwina, who's meant to be the worst player, and she had to pretend to hit balls in the wrong direction and they'd go straight in. She was really bad at being rubbish at Pall Mall."
Bridgerton season 2 is available to stream on Netflix now.
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Sean has been writing about all things telly for over 10 years and in that time he's been lucky enough to interview stars like Ian McKellen, Tom Hardy and Kate Winslet. His favourite shows are I'm Alan Partridge, The Wire, People Just Do Nothing and Succession and in his spare time he enjoys drinking tea, doing crosswords and watching football.