ET's Lauren Zima spoke to the Bachelor franchise host on Friday about one of the biggest stories of the season: Hannah's intense relationship with Luke, who is disliked by seemingly every other cast member vying for Hannah's heart. Monday's all-new episode of the hit ABC series will include Brown sitting down with Harrison to discuss her relationships, frustrations and whether she can find love at all.
The chat comes after Brown decided not to give Luke a rose following their one-on-one date. The two have undeniable chemistry, and he received the coveted first impression rose from Brown. But Harrison tells ET there's still much more to come between Hannah and Luke, and that he might even be the center of one of the season's most anticipated conflicts: a heated discussion about sex.
ET: We saw Luke P. praying in a church in a teaser. Is that something that production has done in the past; taken a contestant to church if they wanted to pray?
Chris Harrison: I don’t know if we’ve ever embraced it this much, but religion and his conservative values are a big part of his life, and, in turn, became a big theme on the show because that is what will drive a lot of what’s about to happen in the coming episodes. It really goes back to his faith and that is a big connection, whether people like it or not.
We were in Scotland, there was a beautiful church just down the way, and he wanted to go see it and spend some time there and reflect and pray. And we decided to include that [footage] because you will see as this show goes on, that’s a big part of him and what’s about to happen, and, whether you like it or not, that was a big part of the connection between Hannah and Luke. She really liked his faith. She loved talking [about] religion with him and about God and about the Scriptures. That was a big part of their relationship and there were a lot of those conversations you didn’t get to see just because we don’t have time on the show. They bonded over that and that’s something she didn’t have with a lot of other guys.
We also have seen Hannah in the trailers talk about sex and issues with sex. Putting two and two together, does a conversation about sex come up between her and Luke P., and how much of an issue is that?
Ironically enough, faith is what brought them together and his faith and his conservative values might be their biggest sticking point and become the biggest divide between them. Yes, obviously, we are setting something up down the road that will come to a head, where their faith and their values start to conflict, and how they perceive them.
And that’s always the interesting thing about religion, and I always feel maybe we need to dive into this more sometimes. Sometimes we shy away from it because religion, it’s a little bit like sex, where it’s taboo to discuss in the open. I think it needs to be brought in the open more sometimes, and, in this case, it’s interesting how they have very similar values, but very differing opinions on how to apply them to life.
Whoever she does have that conversation with, how do you think fans will react to what they see?
There’s going to be a lot of differing opinions. I think depending on where you are in the country, where your faith lies, what you believe... I think some people are going to be firmly on more, say, the Luke P. side of his conservative values and how he applies those, and I think a lot of people are really going to rally around Hannah.
She stands up for herself, and handles her business, and lays down the law of no matter what you believe, my body, my choice, my life. If you don’t like it, there’s the door. Don’t let it hit you in the a** on the way out. That's how she approaches all the men. I love that side of Hannah. She’s very vulnerable and emotional, but don’t you dare cross her and question her decisions because this is her life and you’ve got to respect that.
The Bachelorette airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET's Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.