‘Bridgerton’ Season 2: The Pall Mall Scene Was ‘Improvised’ Because No One Knew the Rules
One of the many highlights of Bridgerton Season 2 was the sibling dynamic between the Bridgertons. The infamous Pall Mall scene showed off their competitive spirit and sibling rivalry. All the while, the scene was an integral part of Anthony and Kate’s growing love story. Believe it or not the infamous scene from the series and book was improvised. The cast of Bridgerton Season 2 had no idea how Pall Mall is actually played.
[Warning: This article contains mild spoilers for Bridgerton Season 2.]
The Bridgerton siblings take part in their annual tradition at the country estate
When Anthony realizes he needs to find a way to persuade Kate to let him court Edwina, he hatches a plan. He invites them to the country estate a few days before the grand ball to show he is a family man and win both the Sharmas’ favor. Kate, Edwina, and Mary meet the infamous family of the ton and baby Augie. They learn the siblings have a heavy rivalry when playing Pall Mall.
The comical aspect is, they do not follow any rules. Daphne explains it is not about the rules but the goal. She explains the players must hit the ball through the numbered pegs. The first player to hit through the last peg wins. The Pall Mall scene is famous in the original book series and a highlight of Bridgerton Season 2.
Fans will be interested to learn the actors had no idea how to play the real-life game. On the small-screen, they see the actors having fun and playing how they think is correct.
The cast of ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2 did not know the rules to the Pall Mall game
Showrunner Chris Van Dusen explains the Pall Mall scene is one of the most important scenes in the book. In a behind-the-scenes featurette video, he let the camera roll and the actors play as they wished. There is a reason why the scene was so improvised.
In a Netflix interview, production designer Will Hugh-Jones explained, “For the Pall Mall scene, one of our team members went to the Museum of London to research the game, and the actual rules are pretty vague. So we decided that the Bridgertons play their own version of it.”
Actor Luke Newton says, “We just set up in a certain shot, and it was all improvised.” In reality, none of the cast members knew the real rules of Pall Mall but decided to play and developed a competitive edge. Claudia Jessie called it “carnage.”
Jessie accounts for all the actors by saying, “Pall Mall is a game I do not and will never understand, but it was fun and incredibly difficult. I still don’t really know how to play it, but you’ve got a mallet, and you whack a ball through some pegs until someone wins. It was intense.” The cast agrees it is one of the most important scenes of the season.
The Pall Mall scene helped root out Anthony and Kate’s attraction in ‘Bridgerton’ Season 2
While the Bridgertons are having fun at their country state playing a competitive round of Pall Mall, the scene served another purpose. Anthony tries to appeal to Edwina throughout the scene but inadvertently starts a fiery banter and rivalry with Kate. Everyone can see that Anthony is putting more emphasis on her than he anticipated.
Dusen explains it is a prime example of what is happening between Kate and Anthony, Edwin and Kate, and Anthony and Edwina. The Pall Mall scene also changes the tide for Kate and Anthony. When they go fetch their balls, they fall into a mud pit and start laughing. The ice is broken.
“I think the moment he laughs around her, all these psychological barriers start to thaw. And they have a real moment of intimacy and vulnerability with each other. And that really set the ball rolling,” said Jonathan Bailey. Pall Mall was the shift for Kate and Anthony, and they replay the game in the finale after getting married.
Bridgerton Season 2 is available on Netflix.