Another member of the Bridgerton family is joining the ton’s social scene in Season 2 as Eloise (Claudia Jessie) reluctantly dips her toes into the suitor pool while also continuing her search for Lady Whistledown (voiced by Julie Andrews).
“She has to do it, she’s appeasing her mother,” Jessie tells of Eloise’s participation within the social season, “but,” she counters, “if the fans or watchers of the show can predict what they think Eloise will be like in this season, they’re probably correct.” In other words, she’s not an easy-going participant as she’d rather read books, wear what she wants, and continue her investigation into Lady Whistledown’s true identity, unaware that it belongs to her bestie Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).
“You can see her trying to unsubscribe from it, whether that’s bribing a footman to leave, or pretending her dance card is full, or things like that,” Jessie teases. But it isn’t just Eloise’s experience that is being impacted at these shindigs, it’s also Penelope’s as the actress notes, “[Eloise’s presence is] really ruining Penelope’s job because Penelope gets so much information at these tea parties or balls. So Eloise is really blocking her ability to do her job.”
It must be acknowledged though, that Lady Whistledown has been laying low over the season’s break, leaving Eloise to pursue other pieces of literature in the meantime, but once those scandal sheets start being circulated again, her interest in finding the writer is rekindled. “During that [off] time, Eloise started reading other things of note and started exploring different avenues, and I think she was really enjoying that, which made her perspective of Lady Whistledown shift a bit,” Jessie shares.
Eloise’s obsessiveness over Whistledown wanes slightly until as Jessie notes, “Whistledown changes her tune a bit because Penelope is being so heavily influenced by Eloise.” Can that influence tip Eloise off to the truth? There are some distractions that might work in Penelope’s favor when it comes to that.
“On that journey, she gets to delve into a different part of society and then gets to meet different types of people, explore different types of conversations and debates,” Jessie notes of her character’s search for Whistledown. “And she might meet a boy along the way and be even more enthralled by that world,” she adds.
This “boy” happens to be printer’s assistant, Theo Sharpe (Calam Lynch), a new character this season who connects with Eloise “through their desires to learn and expand their knowledge on certain things,” Jessie shares, adding that her character “doesn’t really have anyone like that around her. No one at these balls interests her.”
Considering that she spends most of her time with family, Eloise’s emergence into society and her exploration of Lady Whistledown this season expands her reach and Jessie says, “this is the first time Eloise has met someone that she could be interested in.” Likewise, another man in her life who still has a strong presence is brother Benedict (Luke Thompson, above).
“He’s on his own journey, exploring his love for art and his skill as a painter and sketch artist,” Jessie acknowledges of Eloise’s favorite brother, but adds, “I think they’re just always there for each other.” As viewers will recall, the siblings shared some deep conversations on their outdoor swing set, commiserating over the challenges of society.
“They’re there for each other,” she promises, adding that, “later on in the season, you’ll see, they just have those really touching moments” together as they did in Season 1. Perhaps Benedict can help Eloise work through the mysteries she’s trying to unravel or provide advice on the boy front? Only time will tell.
And as for the friendship dynamic between Eloise and Penelope, that’s also understandably tense on one side as “Eloise doesn’t know what’s going on.” While she remains in the dark about Penelope’s writing alias, Eloise continues on blissfully unaware into the social season thankful for her pal’s presence. “These balls are made easier by Penelope’s presence for Eloise,” reiterates Jessie, “but for Penelope, that’s really stunting her progress.”
“You will see their dynamics change,” she promises, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, fans will have to wait and see. Catch Claudia Jessie’s Eloise and the rest of the ton when Bridgerton finally returns for Season 2.
Bridgerton, Season 2 Premiere, Friday, March 25, Netflix