Inspiration can come from the most unexpected of places. In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times’ The Envelope podcast, Simone Ashley explains that her time on Sex Education helped prepare her for the period piece sexy times on Bridgerton, and cited an unlikely source as a model for eroticism.
“In Sex Education, we had like a sex intimacy workshop where we completely broke the ice and you know, anything that was said, it was the most embarrassing or the most vulnerable, but it was a safe, intimate space. And we explored the movement of different animals to kind of portray different paces or different sexualities or how sensual something could be,” Ashley says on the podcast.
She continues, “For example, we look to how snails mate, and when snails mate, they actually produce a plasma that intertwines. So if it was a really sensual, slow kind of scene, we’d be like, oh, it’s like the snail. And it’s super like the plasma, like falling like honey.”
How does it feel knowing some of your favorite TV sex scenes are modeled after snail mating rituals? This isn’t limited to Bridgerton and Sex Education, either–don’t forget Ben Affleck had a whole snail situation in Adrian Lyne’s erotic thriller Deep Water. It looks like snails are finally being acknowledged for their… um… sexiness.
Of course, there are other creatures worth studying: “[We] would make it about that or how dogs mate or chimpanzees mate,” Ashley adds. “It’s very like fast-paced and a different kind of style. So this kind of scene, we’re going to make it very funny and quirky and just like silly and like, let’s think of like, this animal. So we would kind of focus on the other things around and then treat it like a dance and make it very character-driven.”
The actor credits Sex Education with helping her learn professionalism during intimacy scenes, which carried over to Bridgerton, where she “felt very comfortable and very confident and safe.” Many thanks to all the snails whose example made it all possible!