'Bridgerton' Star Jonathan Bailey on the Lack of Sex in Season 2: 'The Payoff Is Really Earned'

"It would have been wrong for Kate and Anthony to have got physical any sooner than they did," Jonathan Bailey said

Photo: Liam Daniel/Netflix

Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey is defending the lack of sex scenes in the second season of the hit Netflix series.

The actor, 33, told USA Today, in an interview published on Wednesday, that "the payoff is really earned" when his character, Anthony Bridgerton, gets intimate with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) in the penultimate episode of the season.

"It would have been wrong for Kate and Anthony to have got physical any sooner than they did," Bailey said.

Fans may have been expecting more steamy scenes between the pair after watching season 1 of Bridgerton which chronicled the relationship between Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon (Regé Jean-Page). However, Bailey believes "it's right to surprise an audience and keep them on their toes a bit."

"What you lose in sex scenes you gain in a deeper human understanding, which hopefully enriches the world so that the future intimacy scenes won't be the heavy feature, and (you) won't have to lean on them as much," he said.

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Creator Chris Van Dusen also weighed in on the lack of intimate scenes.

"We never do a sex scene for the sake of doing a sex scene, and we never will," he told USA Today. "All of the intimate scenes have a larger purpose. That was true for season 1. It's definitely true for season 2."

Bailey, who is gay, also told the outlet that he hoped the role of Anthony Bridgerton will serve as a model for other LBGTQ+ actors.

"It's thrilling to be able to step into a role that perhaps I've previously not felt was open, or I certainly didn't have anyone filling this space when I was younger," he told USA Today. "But it's great to be able to be part of it and it's joyful."

Bailey added, "Hopefully, Anthony Bridgerton will be a brilliant reference for any queer, young actor – with so many other brilliant actors who are also making waves, silently and some really vocally – that they'll be able to say, 'well, listen, I do want to go for that job because I know that guy is out and that's absolutely fine.' "

Colin Hutton/Netflix

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Earlier this month, Ashley, 25, opened up to PEOPLE about filming the show's sex scenes with Bailey.

"Johnny was an amazing co-partner to work with," she said. "We worked with an amazing intimacy coordinator who ensured that it was choreographed and it was a safe space where we could communicate and make sure that we knew exactly what was going to be happening on the day."

She added, "And I think that's something that Johnny and I had throughout the whole series. We always had each other's backs and made sure that each other, as much as we were doing our own work and we were on our own journeys, we would always check in with one another and make sure that they were okay."

Elsewhere in his USA Today interview, Bailey teased fans that he would be back on the drama series even when the show focuses on a different couple's romance next season. "I'm not going to miss a wedding," he shared. "Let's put it that way. As much as I'm needed, I'll be there."

Season 2 of Bridgerton is streaming now on Netflix.

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