‘Bridgerton’ Stars Admit Eloise and Cressida’s Season 3 Friendship Was a ‘Surprise’

“Bridgerton” Season 3 introduced viewers to a newfound friendship between Eloise and Cressida — a pairing that came as a surprise even to stars Claudia Jessie and Jessica Madsen.

“We definitely didn’t expect it when Jess [Brownell] told us about it,” Jessie told TheWrap. “We’ve known each other for a long time, since 2019 … and obviously we see each other on set, but we’d never had scenes together, unless Eloise was saying that she’d rather die than be friends with [Cressida].”

Cressida has been a fierce rival of the Bridgerton sisters since Season 1, when she competed with Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) for the affections of Prince Friedrich and later snidely indicated she had seen Daphne and Simon’s scandalous dalliance in the garden. She continued to shake up trouble in Season 2 as she both mocked Eloise and offended Penelope (Nicola Coughlan).

“I couldn’t believe it,” Madsen agreed. “It was a surprise — the best surprise not only to explore the character more, but to do it with Claudia … it was a real treat to come back and and have that. It was pretty magic.”

Eloise looked for companionship with Cressida following her rift with Penelope in Season 2, when she learned of Penelope’s secret identity as gossip columnist Lady Whistledown.

“It’s really important that we show that side of the characters, because they’ve got a beautiful friendship and it’s very complicated, clearly, for a very big reason,” Jessie said. “I don’t want ever to have any Peneloise fans to lose hope, but I just don’t think Eloise is gonna be like, ‘kiss and make up,’ because it’s a big deal.”

As Eloise, Cressida and Penelope enter another consecutive season on the marriage market, Cressida’s grudge against Penelope hasn’t softened.

“Cressida has always had a thing about Penelope and we like to say that something went terribly wrong in their childhood for it to still be a problem,” Madsen explained. “She’s definitely pitted herself against her and everyone else … that’s about as far as it goes.”

Whereas pressure remains on Penelope and Cressida — primarily from their mothers — to find a husband and avoid further embarrassment, Jessie noted Eloise has successfully dodged the moniker of “being on the market,” saying, “She’s managed to escape it.”

“Bridgerton” Season 3, Part 1 is now streaming on Netflix. Part 2 premieres June 13. Dessi Gomez contributed to this report.

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