Bridgerton's Luke Thompson unveils Benedict's season of discovery

As the middle son who doesn't want to settle down, Benedict enjoys his flirtation with Bridgerton. His tryst with Mrs. Tilly Arnold and her companion Paul in season three may be the most transformative yet. Spoilers ahead for Bridgerton Season 3 and the novels by Julia Quinn .

In the final episodes of the season, the three exchange intimate moments before sleeping together, with Benedict declaring in the show that he's "willing to give a lot of love." While these scenes speak for themselves, actor Luke Thompson didn't feel the added pressure of filming them.

"It was really fun to do it," the 35-year-old tells Bustle of the sex scene. "To me, they're no different than when Tilly and I were dancing. You're basically using something physical to describe or explore what's going on between two people — or in this case, three people. ”

Benedict's sexuality has long been the subject of fan speculation, as has Thompson. "Benedict has always been a bit curious about his desires rather than being sure of what he wants and what he's looking for, and that's always been part of writing," said the London-based actor, who was nominated for an Olivier Award for "It's a Little Life." .

In the season finale, Tilly tells Benedict that she wants a more substantial relationship. “Even joy can grow weary,” she warns.

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While Benedict seems keen on exploring, his final scene seems to question that resolve. Referring to his mother's upcoming masquerade, he tells Héloïse that he will "shun eligible ladies like the plague." He stood alone in a huge hallway, and for once he looked lonely—perhaps, as Tilly said, a little tired.

Given this moment, his season is about to begin. In the book series, Benedict meets his love Sophie at this event.

"We just want to keep you guessing," Thompson joked. "There's a constant dialogue between the book and the show, and that's what's fun about watching it. You don't quite know what's going to happen."

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The actor isn't on social media, so when he comes face-to-face with Bridgerton fans, "Beautiful and Surprising" is a reminder of how many are paying attention, such as a recent appearance with Golda Rothwell "Viewpoint" program .

Sometimes you feel like it’s a real wake-up call and you think — and this is almost a cliché — there’s a real passion for the show,” he laughs. "who knows?"

Below, he talks about Benedict's sexuality, whether he'll ever pick up a paintbrush again, and a detail you might have missed.

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I love seeing Benedict explore this season. What do you think of his sexuality on the show?

He seemed to approach his feelings in a spirit of curiosity. There is little anxiety about this. It's so refreshing to see someone dealing with this side of themselves without worrying about who they are and what it means.

Male sexuality, especially, can feel boxy during exploration. Let’s be clear, it was an extremely depressing time. In our modern terms, the closest [description] is pansexuality—being attracted to the way someone thinks and feels, regardless of gender. This is a word that can be used. But what's refreshing about it, certainly the way it's being discovered at the moment, is that it has a sense of being label-free.

How did you react when you learned that Francesca's future love was Michaela and not Michael?

It's a lovely thing to welcome positive, happy queer love storylines that aren't all about angst, tragedy, or things going wrong.

Back in season two, Benedict's confidence was shaken when he learned that Anthony paid for his place at art school, but we didn't see much of the repercussions. Do you know how Benedict responded to this blow?

[With] Benedict, things seem to come to the surface and then go back to the bottom and you don't hear them for a long time. That doesn't mean they disappeared. Art remains a part of Benedict’s character. Whether it will be mined again remains to be seen. But the real draw throughout these three seasons is the idea of ​​a man trying to define himself outside of his family. He did feel like he'd found an escape route, and then suddenly Anthony was there. You can see why this would make him want to retreat. But, as Benedict always does, he put the matter on hold for now.

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Where does Benedict stand at the end of Season 3?

The conversation with Tilley was a truly confrontational moment. Tilly held up a mirror to him, as if to say, okay, that's all well and good and fun, but what do you really want?

He has this great line when talking to Héloïse: "It now feels like the next thing I might learn might completely change me." What do you think of this quote?

It tells the story of Benedict's complicated relationship with growing up. When you put down roots, or make real choices, you mature, but it's hard to do that. When you're young, you just want to be free, free, free, to keep reinventing yourself and discover more. But in fact, it's not. We are all limited and we must grow and make choices. This is something Benedict clearly wants to do, but is worried about doing.

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Is there anything else about Benedict’s story that you haven’t talked about publicly?

One of the beautiful things about this show is that it's so light-hearted, but it's a little deceptive. This is something I encourage people to watch slowly - there's more to it than meets the eye.

One of my really favorite moments is when, during the dance (Episode 3), Tilly and Benedict switch places and Tilly does the male partner's steps. Small moments like this are truly enlightening.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.