Jonathan Bailey, the potential Mister Darcy of The Bridgerton Chronicle, season 2

Season 2 of the show, unveiled on Friday March 25 on Netflix, relates the love affairs of Anthony Bridgerton. Portrait of his interpreter, who has just entered the light.

In December 2020, spectators around the world fell in love with Regé-Jean Page, the interpreter of the Duke of Hastings in The Bridgerton Chronicle . If the actor is conspicuous by his absence in season 2 of the show stamped Netflix, unveiled on Friday March 25, the succession seems assured. Jonathan Bailey embodies Anthony Bridgerton, the seductive hero of this new series of episodes. He appears there, in particular, dressed in a soaked white shirt, revealing his advantageous plastic. A scene that is reminiscent of that of Colin Firth in the film Pride and Prejudice (1995).

Off screen, this potential Mister Darcy nevertheless refuses to perceive himself as an object of fantasies. “Actors who think they are sex symbols? They are embarrassing“, he says in the columns of the British edition of QG. It is useless, moreover, to compare him to Regé-Jean Page. Asked by the Sunday Times on the famous scene of season 1 in which the actor licks his spoon, Jonathan Bailey eludes with humor: “I was worried, wondering if I was going to have to do it too… with a knife?»

“Like a Regency school”

After three decades of career, the one that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, her filming partner in crashing (2017), described as “a meteorite of humor, with an incredible amount of energy and cheerfulness”, did not expect such a spotlight. In recent years, Jonathan Bailey has rarely held the top of the bill. “I’ve never gone to an audition where someone said, ‘It’s the right one!’, he confides in the columns of GQUK. I always entered through the back door.

He now officiates in one of the most watched series in the history of Netflix – it accumulated nearly 82 million viewers in 2020. And in this new season forms a fascinating duo with Simone Ashley (Sex Education), the interpreter of Kate Sharma, cheeky sister of the one he is courting. A shoot during which the actor also developed new talents. “The training was great, I rode horses, then I went to fencing, he recalls. It was like a Regency school.

From beginnings to 6 years old

Despite the record audience of The Bridgerton Chronicle – and his approximately 996,000 Instagram subscribers -, Jonathan Bailey does not aspire to fame. The actor also spends his free time in a remote corner of Sussex, when he does not offer hikes in the Andalusian mountains or a paddle session in Cornwall. “In twenty years, I don’t want to be known, but to have a long career to my credit”, he underlines in GQUK. That of the thirty-something began at an early age.

Born on April 25, 1988 in Benson, England, this youngest of four siblings – he has three older sisters – fell in love with dance at the age of 4, after seeing a stage adaptation ofOliver Twist in the company of his parents Stuart, a former DJ converted into the sale of honey, and Carole, an audioprosthetist. On weekends, the young Jonathan performs on disco and pop classics, in front of his parents and his sisters, who have just returned from university.

His talent did not escape the Royal Shakespeare Company, which selected him at the age of 6 to play Tiny Tim in their stage adaptation ofA Christmas Carol. As a teenager, Jonathan Bailey studied at Magdalen College in Oxford, before entering the Open University a few years later. It was during this period that he came out to his family and friends.

In video, “The Bridgerton Chronicle”, season 2, the trailer

“I’d rather hold my boyfriend’s hand”

On the set, the actor prefers to keep his sexual orientation silent. The words addressed to one of his actor friends, at the beginning of his career, never left him. “There are two things we don’t want to know: if you’re an alcoholic and if you’re gay,” he was told. “Of course, I thought that to be happy, you had to be hetero”, confides Jonathan Bailey to QG. But the actor, tired of spending part of his life in silence, decides one day that it will be otherwise.

“I got to a point where I was like, ‘Damn, I’d much rather hold my boyfriend’s hand in public, be able to put my own picture on Tinder and not worry so much, than pick up the phone. a role”, he continues. In 2018, he made his public coming out in the columns of the Times and D’Attitude. The one who officiated in the series Leonardo (2011), Broadchurch (2013) and Chewing gum (2017), and starred alongside Colin Firth in The day of my return (2018), now enjoins “gay men to accept roles about coming out or falling in love with another man”. All with a view to “fighting shame and oppression”.

Advice that he himself put into practice. He landed a role in the play. Cock, the story of a man who identifies as gay but falls in love with a woman and questions his sexuality, directed by Marianne Eliott. Jonathan Bailey will perform at the Ambassadors Theater in London, alongside Taron Egerton, until June 4. The announced success of season 2 of The Bridgerton Chronicle should, meanwhile, propel him even more to the fore. Jonathan Bailey should therefore now enter through the front door.