The Truth About Bridgerton Star Claudia Jessie

After two depressingly long years of being in the 21st century, we can finally go back in time to the splendor of the Regency era with the second season of "Bridgerton." The period drama gives us every romance trope in the book — literally, Julia Quinn's book (via There's an enemies to lovers arc, an anxiety-inducing chase, and dreamy main characters to rope us further into the storyline with each episode. "Bridgerton" also uses grandiose castle sets and intricate ballgowns to transport us into the escapist fantasy that has become Netflix's most watched series (via Fortune).

Claudia Jessie plays the role of Eloise Bridgerton on the show. She's one of eight children in the powerful Bridgerton family, though Eloise isn't quite as charmed by the marriage market as her older sister, Daphne, who will still be part of Season 2. Jessie's character is nimble and witty, and it turns out, not all that different from Jessie herself. The British actress — who has worked on a variety of shows ranging from comedies to dramas before being cast in "Bridgerton" — has voiced excitement for Eloise's development this season. Read on to learn more about Jessie and her penchant for period dramas.

Bridgeton is not Jessie's first period drama

Eloise Bridgerton was simply meant to be played by Claudia Jessie. Her lightly accessorized, minimal outfits were carefully crafted to provide insight into who Eloise is and how she differs from other members of the Bridgerton clan. As the show's costumer designer, Ellen Mirojnick, told Popsugar, "Eloise is scholarly, intelligent and curious — she has no patience to be girly. She has a straight-forward, buttoned-up style that airs on being a bit masculine." Jessie takes to this Regency style effortlessly, but that's probably because she's had practice.

Before "Bridgerton," the actress worked on another period drama, the "Vanity Fair" mini-series (via IMDb). "I feel as though I'm still coming to terms with it. I had to pinch myself when I got the part," Jessie said to YOU Magazine when "Vanity Fair" first premiered. The show is an adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel of the same name, and Jessie plays Amelia Sedley, a character that is the total opposite of Eloise Bridgerton. 

Amelia is someone who thrives on and conforms to society's rigid rules, unlike Eloise (via Cliff Notes). When you consider their outfits, and the fact that they're from the same time period, it's easy to see how the two characters are actually quite similar. Apparently though, Jessie wasn't a fan of one specific aspect of her time filming "Vanity Fair."

She hated wearing corsets

In the process of completely becoming Amelia Sedley for "Vanity Fair," Claudia Jessie had to wear an essential wardrobe piece whenever she transformed into her character. Jessie had to wear corsets — which have a complicated history — and she was once convinced that she "never wants anything to do with that corset again, thank you very much," (via Belfast Telegraph). "I ripped through my corset. By the end it was falling to bits. There was wire sticking out everywhere," Jessie told the publication. However, she did get used to it after a while. 

"But once we started filming it quickly became quite normal to be wearing a corset and sitting between takes in a private members' club in London that I probably wouldn't be allowed into usually," she told YOU Magazine. Soon after, Jessie booked "Bridgerton," further proving that the universe works in mysterious ways, as Jessie had an easier time relating to Eloise than she did to Amelia.

Jessie relates to Eloise Bridgerton

When Claudia Jessie got the part of Eloise on "Bridgerton" — Netflix's hit show that's gearing up for its Season 2 release date — she had to leave behind Amelia Sedley's social climbing ways for her new character's plucky attitude. Thankfully, there were some parts of Jessie's personality that already blended perfectly with the Bridgerton sister. When asked about what she has in common with Eloise, Jessie told Shondaland, "I would like to think I am as quick-witted as her! However, I'm not so sure. I love how funny Eloise is, and comedy really is my greatest love, so playing her was a dream."

Jessie also mentioned that she wishes she could be more like her "Bridgerton" character in one significant way. "I'm probably not as confident or as sure of myself as Eloise comes across. I most certainly wasn't at her age. Although, I think we do get to see a more vulnerable side to her along the way. I love her ambition and how comfortable she is in her own skin," Jessie said. 

For this season, the actress hopes Eloise finally gets the sexual education she deserves. "I'm excited for her to find out how this works, because I reckon she'd be confident," she told Town and Country. At the same time, Jessie voiced what we were all thinking: "I'm excited to see Eloise's journey. I am, but I do struggle to see her going on a date. How she is right now, as we know her from series one, I can't imagine what she'd be like." 

We're definitely tuning in on March 25 to see what happens with Eloise!

She lives on a houseboat

When she's not on the "Bridgerton" set, Claudia Jessie lives in an equally dreamy place: A houseboat on a canal. Granted, the aesthetic is very different, but we'd love an in-depth house tour of both the Bridgerton mansion and Jessie's boat, immediately! According to YOU Magazine, Jessie and her longtime partner renovated "a houseboat so that they can glide up and down the canal network of their hometown, Birmingham." She'd lived on a barge when she was younger, so it makes sense that she's found her way back to the boat life in adulthood (via Belfast Telegraph).

One of the best days of her life, according to an interview with Shondaland, was "Moving onto my canal boat! I had been working on it for such a long time and saved for so long to get it. My first night on the boat consisted of me and my mum unpacking everything until the early hours of the morning, whilst drinking a lot of wine," Jessie said. The houseboat is also where Jessie spends her perfect weekend: "Cruising on my canal boat and stopping off at the pub at sunset," (via YOU).

She doesn't use social media

Claudia Jessie's perfect day sounds amazing, and it differs from how many of us take a break in one key way: It doesn't involve endlessly scrolling through TikTok or Instagram for hours on end. The actress doesn't have any social media profiles, and apparently she doesn't plan on getting them any time soon, either.

"Social media provokes more anxiety in me, looking at images of other people, and at comments about myself, and I've got a natural propensity to not be very nice to myself. That's common among us all. But mine feels particularly dangerous. My inner monologue — she can be quite mean," Jessie revealed to the Belfast Telegraph. The actress went on to explain that she isn't interested in social media because she doesn't particularly feel like she's missing out on anything special. "I've got loads of really lovely mates that are sending me screenshots of things that I have missed. Funny things, which is nice," she said to Shondaland.

Jessie isn't too far removed from the dynamics of social media, though. She made a profound observation about the similarities of Regency-era social hierarchies and Instagram influencing in her interview with YOU Magazine. "The difference is that back then you would have gone to banquets and operas or tried to mix with certain families. Whereas now we equate approval with 'likes' and how many followers you have on social media. It's that same human hunger."

She raises a good point!

Buddhism helps her with her mental health

In a candid interview with Belfast Telegraph, Claudia Jessie talked about how meditating and practicing Buddhism has helped her with feelings of anxiety. "My family were so poor," she said. Jessie went on to say that these circumstances had an affect on her overall mental health and well-being when she was young. "I had something called depersonalisation, which comes as an effect of living for a long time with anxiety and trauma," she said.

She then began practicing meditation for an hour a day, at 4:30 a.m., which she said "supported me no end." She elaborated on how meditation has helped her, saying, "The more I resisted those feelings, the worse it would feel. The more I sat with them, meditating, the more easily they passed," (via Belfast Telegraph).

It's been more than a decade since she started practicing Buddhism, and Jessie said that, "It has been in my life since I was a child. It's definitely the core of my life,"(via Shondaland). We're glad she found something that has helped her manage her mental health in such a positive way!

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.