The show's creator revealed his inspiration behind the sexy scene.
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Bridgerton's Wet Shirt Scene Was an Homage to Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones
Credit: Netflix

When it was announced that Bridgerton season 2 was coming — with promises of even spicier scenes than the first installment — a lot of us figured the characters would be, too. Alas, the Regency-era drama contained noticeably less sex than the first season, leaving many fans divided on whether the absence of steamy scenes helped play up the characters' sexual frustration, or just left us plain frustrated. 

Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum, there's one thing we can all agree on: Watching Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey, crawl out of a lake in a sopping-wet shirt was good. Great, even. And if you felt like you'd seen that sexy scene somewhere before (after replaying it three times minimum, of course), it turns out you probably have — which is exactly what Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen was going for.

Van Dusen shared with Entertainment Weekly that Anthony's lakeside tumble, and subsequent wet shirt seduction, was a direct reference to Colin Firth's Pemberley lake swim as Mr. Darcy in Andrew Davies' 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice

"There are some images that have been burned into my brain for a very long time," Van Dusen said. "And those naturally came out onto the page when I was writing the show. I've definitely talked about my love for that 1995 BBC adaptation with Colin Firth emerging from the lake in his white shirt. That scene of Anthony going in relates to that. It's an Easter egg for fans of the genre."

While the steamy Bridgerton scene served as a direct nod to Pride and Prejudice, it's also reminiscent of the soaking wet shirt worn by Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones' Diary (which was heavily inspired by the 1995 adaptation) after his character also fell into a lake. 

Although a hot man splashing around a body of water is hardly new, that doesn't mean we'll ever stop swooning over it, and Van Dusen said a lot of work went into ensuring the tantalizing scene did the original(s) justice.

"We tested that white shirt to make sure it was just the right amount of see-through and clingy enough," he said. "We worked really hard to make that moment magical and memorable."