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‘Bridgerton’ Star Luke Newton Talks Colin, Penelope and Taking the Lead

As Season 3 of the Netflix romance continues, can ‘Polin’ survive Lady Whistledown?

With London’s marriage mart in full swing on Netflix, the second installment of Bridgerton Season 3 premieres Thursday, June 13th – and when it does, a certain engagement will set the ton afire!

**Spoilers Ahead**

Colin has finally found his love for Penelope… but as we know, dearest gentle reader, a steamy carriage proposal doth not necessarily make a wedding.

We are only halfway through this Bridgerton season of transformation. With the fates of Colin, Penelope, Lady Whistledown, Eloise, Cressida and many more locals still hanging in the balance, star Luke Newton spills the tea.

In addition to reflecting on how far his character has come, Colin’s portrayer opens up about building the romance with leading lady Nicola Coughlan in Season 3. Plus, FIRST for Women has your sneak peek of the first four minutes of Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2!

Bridgerton showrunner talks Penelope and Colin’s season 3 challenge

Bridgerton Colin penelope Carriage scene proposal just the start.
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in ‘Bridgerton’ (2024)Liam Daniel/Netflix

As the fever of the Bridgerton mid-season finale cools and news of Penelope and Colin’s proposal spreads in Part 2 of Season 3, there is still much for locals of the ton to figure out. In the Bridgerton family alone, Francesca is closing in on a match, Benedict is sharing a dalliance with the delightful Lady Tilley, and their mother, Violet, has been eying Lady Danbury’s brother, Lord Anderson.

There’s also Will and Alice, who are still adjusting to their new station in the ton. And now that we’ve come to empathize with poor Cressida, what will be the unmatched mean girl’s fate?

The greatest questions, however, linger over the happy couple at the center of Season 3. While Penelope’s glow-up helped her find her confidence and land the man of her dreams, she still grappling with what it means to be Lady Whistledown – and the queen is still determined to figure out who she is!

With Eloise in on her secret, can Penelope keep it… and should she?

“Thematically this season, we are dealing with the idea of a persona, or two selves,” showrunner Jess Brownell teases, and this applies to Colin, as well. “Anytime someone is coming back with a whole new persona, they’re denying a side of themselves. So he will have to figure out, like Penelope, how to blend those two sides and accept his authentic self.”

Colin Bridgerton actor Luke Newton talks Colin’s transformation and glow-up

Bridgerton star Luke Newton talks Colin journey glow up
Luke Newton in ‘Bridgerton’ (2024)Liam Daniel/Netflix

Amid all the ton’s chatter over Penelope’s rom-com makeover, Colin’s dashing new look and energy also set debutantes abuzz, far and wide.

“The internet has dubbed Colin’s new look ‘sexy pirate,’ and it’s not too far off from what we were intending,” Brownell says. “His clothing is darker and more streamlined and has more of this worldly edge. But underneath both the clothing persona and the confidence swagger is the fact that Colin is a sensitive goofball.”

While Penelope wasn’t impressed by Colin’s new bluster, his fanciful makeover has been as important as hers.

“In previous seasons, he’s always been part of the Bridgerton family, and every decision has always been made for him,” Luke Newton explains. “Now he’s had this journey that has shaped him into the man he wants to appear to be. He comes back with a new look and he’s very excited to see the ton’s reaction and his family’s reaction.”

Colin Bridgerton actor Luke Newton talks his character’s search for purpose

the bridgerton family
Cast of ‘Bridgerton’ (2020)LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

For the first part of season 3, Colin clung to his new version of himself and tried to enjoy sewing his proverbial oats. Even as he found himself growing jealous of Penelope’s suitor, Lord Debling, however, he was still searching for something of his own.

“Colin’s definitely got a bit of a complex when it comes to finding his purpose, and it’s one of the main themes for him this season,” Newton says. “He’s struggling with growing up, getting older, and not knowing what his ‘thing’ is.”

While he does share Penelope’s passion for writing, he may have gotten a bit lost in his own privilege – not to mention his seven siblings!

“When it comes down to it, he’s got an amazing life,” Newton maintains. “He’s got an amazing family, amazing friends [and] he’s very, very wealthy, so he doesn’t really have any sort of drive.

“He also struggles with his place within his family, because he will never be in charge or have to take any responsibility,” he adds. “He’s the middle child who doesn’t really know where he stands. He wants something that he can take ownership of, something that’s his.”

Colin Bridgerton actor Luke Newton says Colin loves Penelope because she sees him

Bridgerton star reveals when Colin falls for Penelope
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in ‘Bridgerton’ (2024)Liam Daniel/Netflix

While Penelope had given up on her crush at season’s start, Bridgerton viewers waited impatiently for Colin to figure out he loved her. It turned out, loving Pen started with loving himself – and while he taught her how to flirt, she’s given him something far more important.

“She’s the person who listens to him and loves him for who he is rather than who he’s pretending to be — or who he thinks he should be,” Newton says. “She reassures him that he doesn’t need to have a purpose; his most valuable asset is just being himself, and she’s the first person who helps him to believe that.”

Not only has Penelope helped Colin see himself, but a bit of competition helped him see what he was missing.

“That kind of strips everything back and he realizes he’s had those feelings for her the whole time,” Newton says. “He’s just a young lad who’s been blinded by everything else that’s been in the way. It’s nice to finally get to that moment and see him realize what’s been right in front of his eyes.”

Bridgerton star talks taking center stage with Nicola Coughlan

Bridgerton star talks taking center stage with Nicola Coughlan
Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in ‘Bridgerton’ (2024)Liam Daniel/Netflix

In this season inspired by Julia Quinn’s Romancing Mister Bridgerton, Newton has enjoyed taking the lead alongside Penelope’s portrayer.

“Working with Nic has been so cool because we’ve known each other for years,” he says of Coughlan. “We can laugh and play around a little bit – and when we need to, we will support each other in the moments that feel vulnerable. We’ve got each other’s backs.

“It’s been a mad journey,” Newton continues. “It’s been fun to change the dynamics of Colin and Penelope’s relationship, and it’s all been so carefully crafted. I’ve loved the attention to detail on every scene that we do, every line that we say, every decision that is made. And I love the way they’ve morphed together a little bit – Penelope has brought out the more flamboyant side of Colin.”

Colin has certainly come a long way in Bridgerton Season 3, but Penelope’s secret still threatens their future. With Colin one of Lady Whistledown’s most vocal detractors, what will happen if and when he learns that his true love and the trashy ton gossip are one and the same?

Bridgerton Season 3 Part 2 – which features instrumental covers of music by Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Pitbull – arrives on Netflix June 13. Can’t wait? Watch the first four minutes, here!

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