Bridgerton's Ruth Gemmell opens up about season two of the show

·5-min read
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

When it comes to familiar faces on television, Ruth Gemmell's work has been seen and adored by many. Whether it's the multiple detective roles she's played in dramas like Silent Witness, her appearance in the soap Eastenders or her romantic lead alongside Colin Firth in cult-favourite film Fever Pitch; the actress is regularly praised for her talent and adaptability to play many roles.

Most recently, Ruth has become a household name in Netflix's Bridgerton - where she plays Lady Violet Bridgerton - the much-loved matriach of the Bridgerton family. Viewers have regularly praised her character's strength, courage and adoration for her children.

Here at Good Housekeeping, we sat down with Ruth ahead of Bridgerton season two. The star told us all about her favourite behind-the-scenes moments, what she loves about Lady Violet and what we can expect for the highly-anticipated next season of the show...

What do you enjoy most about playing Lady Violet in Bridgerton?

The family scenes are my absolute favourite. We often film the scenes with all eight of the Bridgerton family's children, meaning it's utter chaos but always fun. We all spend a lot of time laughing and it's always a lovely atmosphere - I honestly love those children like they’re my own.

You’ve played a lot of roles in your career, how does Lady Violet compare?

In my career, I’ve played a few detectives, including in Silent Witness. My detective characters are nothing like Violet! I feel like up to the age I am now I’ve been cast as detectives, murderers or bad mothers - but now I get to play a character who's a lovely woman and an even lovelier mum!

Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

Do you relate to Lady Violet?

I find many of her qualities inspirational. For example, I wish I was as astute and wise as Violet. The one, big factor I can relate to, however, is my total love for the Bridgerton kids.

Lady Violet acted as the strong matriarch of the family in season one. Can we expect to see this continue?

You can absolutely expect more of the same! In Violet's life, there's always a child somewhere who needs to be nurtured and steered, and this is set to continue throughout season two, especially with the character of Violet's oldest son, Anthony.

Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

How does your character develop in season two? What did you find exciting about this and what challenges did you face?

The biggest development for me was having the privilege to delve into Violet's past and see why she is the way she is and how this has shaped the Bridgerton family. The loss of her husband is at the forefront of that. It was a gift for me to be able to do this in season two. Getting the opportunity to explore a character's vulnerabilities is both exciting and challenging.

Bridgerton’s first season was seen and enjoyed by so many people – what are you most excited for us to see in season two?

As well as seeing more of Violet's past, you get to see more of the friendship between Lady Violet and Lady Danbury - and I absolutely adore working with Adjoa Andoh.

Season two is also all about Anthony's journey and I'm very excited for people to see this storyline. Jonathan Bailey - who plays Anthony - is so phenomenal to work with. He's such a generous actor and I love filming scenes with him. During this series we have some lovely mother/son scenes together which are so intimate and explain our history, and I feel like we work instinctively with each other to create these moments.

Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair
Photo credit: Joseph Sinclair

What do you enjoy most about making the show?

The whole cast and crew are just so lovely! Some I see more than others but we're all quite close. I’m not a method actor or one who creates backstory; I try to keep everything in parameters of the script. For me, to feel comfortable to explore my character comes from being on a happy set, and that's what I love about filming Bridgerton.

I also love filming our ball scenes. These often take days to shoot with the whole cast and crew, meaning they can be long hours but they're so much fun. Ball scenes are always great as we can all get together and catch up, which is just lovely.

We know that a highly-anticipated Bridgerton spin-off show is in the pipeline. Can you share any details on this?

It's still early days, but the most exciting thing about this project is who I'll be working with again. It will see be reunited with Adjoa as Lady Danbury and Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte, meaning working with two great actresses and wonderful friends in a much more intimate way. Hugh Sachs, who plays Brimsely, will also be joining us - so it's going to be a fantastic combination of people.

Bridgerton season two returns on Friday 25 March on Netflix.

Image credits:

Photographer: Joseph Sinclair

Stylist: Miranda Almond @ ONE Represents

Make-up: Charlotte Yeomans

Hair: Ben Talbott @ The Wall Group

Ruth wears:

Cover image: White cotton shirt by The Deck for Turnball and Asser

First image: White cotton shirt by The Deck for Turnball and Asser

Second Image: Grey wool suit by THE DECK, Cream leather shoes by Russell and Bromley

Third image: Green top and matching skirt by EDELINE LEE, Black shoes Christian Dior

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