Julian Ovenden Discusses His Time On Bridgerton - Exclusive

In his latest film "The Lost Girls," Julien Ovenden plays an overprotective father fearful about the impact his daughter's family legacy with Peter Pan will have on her. It's a character that Sir Henry Granville, the well-known painter he depicts in the first season of Netflix's "Bridgerton," has little in common with, and the fact that Ovenden plays both so believably is an indication of the British stage and screen actor's impressive range. 

Ovenden imbues Granville with a rakish charm as he introduces aspiring artist Benedict Bridgerton to his studio and the raucous parties he throws there, opening Benedict's eyes to a way of life that's far removed from the social rules and rigors his aristocratic family adheres to. Moreover, Granville provides an additional source for the steamy moments that helped make the historical drama such a phenomenon while also demonstrating for audiences how a famous gay man might go about maintaining his life and livelihood in Regency-era London.

In an interview with The List, Ovenden shared his delight over "Bridgerton"'s runaway success.

The 'fun' of filming a lavish production

Ovenden's role on "Bridgerton" was filmed before the series was released on Netflix, and while there were many things about the show he said he felt positive about, he admitted that he had no idea that it would become so popular — and according to Ovenden, that's a good thing. "Generally, when you have that feeling [that a project will be successful], things tend to be awful," Ovenden laughed. "In my experience, [you think] this is the best thing ever and no one watches it. Not to say the inverse was true — there were certain things about it that I thought were really smart, and I thought the American take on the period drama was clever. I thought the casting was clever. When it's put together, it's very well edited. It's punchy."

Ovenden observed that "Bridgerton" benefited from premiering at a time when people were looking for an escape. "It had the advantage of everyone being at home when it was first released; everyone was locked in their homes [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] and they'd run out of stuff to watch, so it had a really great captive audience," Ovenden pointed out. "It also had the ability to transport people to another, more colorful place when everyone was feeling miserable. So it lucked out in many ways."

The lavish production of  "Bridgerton" clearly left an impression on Ovenden and made being part of the show all the more enjoyable. "It was incredibly well upholstered, and there was a lot of money spent on making it look like they'd spend a lot of money, which they had," Ovenden reflected. "It's lovely being in something like that when there is no stone left unturned to make it as glossy as possible. It was fun."

You can catch Julian Ovenden in "The Lost Girls," currently playing in theaters and on demand.