If you haven’t figured it out by now we here at Instinct LOVE Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey. A stunningly handsome 34-year-old British superstar with chiseled good looks who has been proudly out for much of his career. The rest of the world is finally catching up to what we have known for years, as Bailey takes the central storyline in the second season of the Netflix historical romance drama created by Shonda Rhimes.
The Testament of Youth actor is part of a wave of change in Hollywood and society. Time magazine is crediting him with “redefining the Hollywood Heartthrob.” An openly out actor playing Anthony Bridgerton, oldest son and viscount searching for his wife on arguably the most popular show in the world right now. The Chewing Gum actor is also currently performing on the West End in the Mike Bartlett penned play Cock, opposite Joel Harper-Jackson. [Taron Edgerton dropped out of the show for personal reasons.]
Bailey is an Olivier award-winning actor appearing in such productions including Company, A Christmas Carol, and Les Misérables. He spoke about his current role in Cock, directed by two-time Tony Award winner Marianne Elliot saying,
“It’s just four people onstage with no set. yet it’s one of the most expansive things, emotionally and thematically, I’ve worked on.”
With the release of the second season of Bridgerton and Bailey moving from the ensemble to leading role, [each season will focus on a different Bridgeton sibling] the Broadchurch actor is poised for global stardom.
It is a job he does not take lightly speaking out on the past narratives, most specifically the adoration that was given to straight actors who play gay, saying “straight people playing gay roles, winning awards for it, and then being told that they’re brave [which] is so demoralizing.” After the rousing success of Bridgerton Time magazine wrote,
“To see Bailey now, as a wholly convincing heartthrob on one of the biggest platforms in the world, is a quietly radical thing, and an auspicious sign of where Hollywood is heading.
Bailey is always gracious and recognizes the large cast and crew of Bridgerton specifically acknowledging showrunner Chris Van Dusen for spotlighting the racially diverse ensemble,
“He proved that you can take two South Indian women and put them on the poster, and you can put a queer actor as a straight romantic lead, and deliver on this incredible global scale. It’s a reflection of how we’re moving as a society.”
Ready for whatever comes next Bailey remains humble and thankful commenting, “There’s that sense of taking stock, of making sure that I can fully realize all these amazing opportunities. It’s something I don’t take lightly at all.”