Theo James Says the Duke of Beaufort’s Family Was ‘Not Impressed’ by Guy Ritchie’s ‘Gentleman’ Filming on His Estate: ‘They Thought It Was Going to Be “Bridgerton”‘

Guy Ritchie’s limited Netflix series adaptation of his movie of the same name shot at the Duke of Beaufort’s Badminton Estate in Gloucestershire, England. “The family was there looking very disapprovingly at us running around in chicken suits and saying ‘cunt’ a lot,” star Theo James told Variety at a special screening of the show at the Tudum Theatre in Hollywood. “They were not impressed. They thought it was going to be ‘Bridgerton.’”

James stars in the series as a British Army officer who inherits his father’s massiva estate, which he eventually finds out is being used by a drug kingpin and his daughter to run their marijuana empire.

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Daniel Ings plays James’ older very drug-addicted alcoholic brother. “I think it was vitamins,” Ings said of the fake cocaine he had to snort for the show. “Boy, I went through a lot. It’s fun playing these characters who are living on the extremes.”

James recalled working with Ritchie. “He likes to have a skeleton of a script,” he said. “So as a cast, the funny thing was, we ended up thinking, ‘Oh, we don’t need to learn any of our lines.’ But then occasionally he’d fuck with you and we’d get on set and he’d saying, ‘We’re [using the script].’ And we’d be like, ‘Oh, shit!’”

Ings was wearing a chicken costume – no spoilers here, but the costume is a significant prop in a pivotal scene of the series — first met Ritchie while he was wearing a chicken costume for one of the show’s most pivotal scenes: “They were like, ‘Let’s take you to meet Guy so he can cast an eye on the chicken suit.’ So they take me around to his trailer – he has a beautiful Airstream – and knock on the door. When it opens there’s like a waft of incense smoke that comes out and he’s playing a steel guitar. He looks over and he just says, ‘You’re in great shape there.’”

Kaya Scodelario co-stars as the drug lord’s daughter. “I was excited about the character, but I also asked for reassurance that she would be front and center and real kind of woman – not just someone’s girlfriend,” she said. “They were like, ‘No, no, no – she’s the boss. She’s the smartest in the room. She knows what’s going on.’ That was really exciting for me because I think that’s something that hasn’t really been done in the Guy universe. They gave me free reign to just go big with her.”

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