The Truth About The Cast Of Bridgerton

If your December 2020 was anything like ours, it was spent drinking red wine, sitting in the same spot of the couch that we've been in since March, and watching Bridgerton. Shonda Rhimes' period-drama show hit Netflix and took the viewing world by storm, in part because of its excellent cast, amazing writing, outlandish production design, and of course, the steamy romances.


The show was based on a series of novels by writer Julia Quinn, each book focusing on a different Bridgerton character — meaning that there could be plenty of amazing seasons of the show (join us while we pray to the Netflix gods). The first season was largely dominated by the up-and-down romance of Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton, the jewel of London's social season; Eloise Bridgerton's hunt for the identity of London gossip Lady Whistledown; and of course, the salacious relationships between the principal cast. It left so many of us wanting more!

So while you decide whether you're going to start re-watching Bridgerton now, tonight, or tomorrow, get the scoop about some of the show's cast. Here's the truth about the cast of Bridgerton.


Warning: spoilers ahead. 

This leading actress from Bridgerton was worried about her career before landing the show

Daphne Bridgerton was the belle of every ball in Bridgerton, and we couldn't turn away from her scenes. Actress Phoebe Dynevor brought Daphne to life, and with her performance matched the period drama to a tee. So it may come as a surprise that Dynevor was worried about her career before Bridgerton came along. According to Deadline, Dynevor didn't attend acting school, and despite performances on television here and there, was becoming "disillusioned with the business" before she found her way to Bridgerton. "I wasn't working before Bridgerton for a long time," she revealed. 


Fortunately, Dynevor's intuition led her to the right audition and left her with the right perspective, because Dynevor explained that she started going into auditions with a "f**k it" attitude. "With Daphne, there was a huge part of me going, 'This is my dream job, literally my dream role, but there's no way I'm going to get it. So I may as well just do it how I want to do it, and not think about anyone else.' That was quite a good thing," she said. Looks like the tactic paid off.

This Bridgerton actress is actually much older than her character

Get ready for your mind to be blown, because the actress who plays Penelope Featherington is so much older than her character. Penelope, one of the three Featherington sisters, is brought to life by Nicola Coughlan and is one of Bridgerton's most enduring characters. Meant to be just 17 years old in Bridgerton, as noted by Insider, Penelope is seemingly wide-eyed and innocent, and spends most of the season navigating the social scene — until it is, of course, that we learn that she's the London gossip, Lady Whistledown. 


So the following might shock you: Coughlan is 34. Yes, you read that correctly. Coughlan is also known for playing Clare Devlin in Derry Girls, and as noted by The Guardian, she knows that she has a young face. So what's her secret? Champagne. "My mum looks really young for her age... Maybe, drink a lot of water? And then, I'm like, wine is alcohol, and alcohol's a preservative, and I love prosecco, sooo... maybe that's it?!" We really hope that's the case, because if it is, we're going to the store to buy every bottle of prosecco we find.

This stand-out actor from Bridgerton has had a hugely successful acting career

If you had to explain Bridgerton to someone who hasn't watched it, chances are the word "sideburns" would be used. And we loved the sideburns that Anthony Bridgerton had — so technically, they were Jonathan Bailey's, but we loved them anyway. And yes, according to The Cutthe sideburns weren't an illusion created by hair and makeup, as they're actually real. "I fertilize them every day like a bonsai tree," Bailey quipped. Amazing. 


Bailey is a hugely successful actor; before he came to the Bridgerton cast, he'd already made a name for himself and snagged a couple of awards along the way. As noted by Harper's Bazaar, he appeared in Broadchurch and the comedy show Campus, but is really known for his theatre work. Bailey has played a number of roles alongside some pretty incredible actors, and most notably joined the 2018 cast of the West End revival of Company. He was obviously outstanding in the role, because he won the 2019 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. 

So Bridgerton the musical starring Jonathan Bailey? Yes? Yes.

Regé-Jean Page revealed that these types of scenes from Bridgerton were the hardest to film

We love a man who's in emotionally in-touch, so while Simon has some work to do in period-era therapy, the actor who plays him in Bridgerton is very tuned in. Regé-Jean Page revealed during an interview for Netflix Queue (via Elle) that the hardest scenes for him to portray were not those scenes, but the scenes in which Simon's tampered-down emotions came into play. "When someone says something that you don't get to blow up about, that you don't get to cry about, you just have to take that sting right in the ribcage and express that through a flick of an eyebrow or through the way that you cut your peas," he explained. Wow.


Page pointed to the scene where Simon joins the Bridgertons for dinner as an example. "The kids are there and they're all happy and playing and being accepted in exactly the warm and loving family that Simon never had. And that is never explicitly mentioned in the script in that moment," Page said, but was informed by Simon's own lack of familial life and his discomfort in the scene.

This Bridgerton actress thinks that season 2 will have to wait

While we're all re-watching Bridgerton and hoping that season 2 is confirmed, we have to remember that the pandemic has had a huge impact on show business. It's a fact that Phoebe Dynevor is very aware of, and she told Deadline that she doesn't think a season 2 could be possible until the pandemic abates. "I can't imagine how it would be possible to film under these circumstances. There are so many extras and so many crew members, and it's a very intimate show," she explained. "It just baffles me how we would film it under Covid rules unless there was a vaccine beforehand." 


As it is, Bridgerton season 1 was lucky to scrape by; shooting wrapped up in February of 2020, just days before global shut-downs. Additionally, Dynevor said that the last couple of days on location were nuts. "We just managed to finish," she continued. "It was amazing." So just remember this: the longer we all go outside when we don't have to, the more people we see when we should be staying at home, the longer we'll have to wait for a Bridgerton season 2.

We all have a crush on Anthony Bridgerton, but who was the actor's first on-screen crush?

Is it possible to actually fall in love with a fictional character? There are some people who will say absolutely yes (we're looking at you, Draco Malfoy lovers — we've seen you on TikTok) — and it looks like we're going to need to add Anthony Bridgerton to the list. His suave persona, his sideburns, his raunchy and salacious romance with an opera singer — it all screams poor behavior, and all red flags are up; almost everything he does in Bridgerton screams problematic toxic man, and we desperately want to fix him. 


But we're not alone when it comes to on-screen crushes, because Jonathan Bailey — the wonderful actor who brings Anthony Bridgerton to life — has the best on-screen crush. You might never guess it, but it's Prince Eric from Disney's The Little Mermaid. "With the big blue eyes, and just, the whole idea of wanting to be onshore with Prince Eric is pretty dreamy," Bailey told Out. We completely agree with this sentiment, by the way.

You will never guess who Nicola Coughlan from Bridgerton is best friends with

This is the Netflix crossover that you didn't know you wanted, but absolutely needed. It turns out that Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton, is best friends with none other than Jonathan Van Ness. Van Ness, for those of you who've been living under a rock, is the grooming expert on Netflix's hit show Queer Eye and is an overall amazing person. 


So how did these two meet? Through social media, of all things. According to BuzzFeed, Coughlan had a hoodie made with Van Ness's face on it — as one absolutely should — and Van Ness reached out via DM to tell Coughlan just how much they love her and the sweatshirt. Additionally, Coughlan has described Van Ness as her "soul sister," and in a sweet message on their birthday, she told Van Ness that she felt like she'd known them her "whole life." Cuuuute. 

Fun fact: Van Ness visited Coughlan when she was on the set of Bridgerton. Just envision it: Van Ness on the set of a period drama. Get them a gorgeous ensemble and jewels, we want to see it.

Fans of Harry Potter will be shocked by this detail about Regé-Jean Page

Leave it to some detail-oriented fans to pick out this small tidbit of information. As noted by Bustle, some Bridgerton viewers did a double-take because they recognized Regé-Jean Page from the iconic British film franchise, Harry Potter. No, Page was not a main character nor was he a franchise regular, but he was part of the wedding reception for Fleur and Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. 


Specifically, Page can be seen standing next to none other than Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, and everyone's favorite mom, Mrs. Weasley. We love to see it! Additionally, after a little bit of digging, viewers of Bridgerton also discovered that Page wasn't the only actor from the show that made it into the wizarding world. Freddie Stroma, who played the part of Prince Frederick in Bridgerton, was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as well as Deathly Hallows: Part 1. He played a Gryffindor wizard, of all things. 

This is a crossover we didn't know we needed but absolutely love to see.

These two Bridgerton actresses have just as close of a friendship off-screen

Strong female friendships on screen aren't nearly as frequent as they should be, but Bridgerton viewers were gifted with a beautiful friendship between Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. The two girls, roughly the same age, spend much of the show trying to track down clues as to who the town gossip, Lady Whistledown, might be in real life (*coughs* because if you know, you know); however, while doing so, they also explore some of the challenges and expectations they face as young women in society. 


What makes their on-screen friendship even better is that the actresses, Claudia Jessie and Nicola Coughlan, are good friends when the cameras aren't rolling. "Working with Claudia was ridiculously easy. She is the kindest, sweetest person," Coughlan shared with Seventeen. "She's so open and such a talented actor. But when you feel that comfortable with someone, it lets you be free to experiment and try. We had four wonderful directors on this show too and they were like, 'We really love Peneloise.' And we'd say, 'We love them too!'" Here for it.

You won't believe the age difference between this actress and her Bridgerton character

Bridgerton fans spent a lot of season 1 watching Daphne Bridgerton navigate her social scene and all the drama that came with it. And while she was attending balls, visiting with suitors, and wearing amazing dresses, her younger sister Eloise was railing against the very lifestyle that her older sister was working towards. When not trying to track down the identity of Lady Whistledown, Eloise was spotted with her nose in a book, making it known to her family that she thinks women are far more capable than being solely a wife, a mother, and a homemaker. 


As noted by Insider, Eloise is supposed to be about 17 years old in the show, so hold onto your hats: the actress who plays her, Claudia Jessie, is 31 years old. Yep, you read that correctly. That's another huge age gap between the actress and the character in Bridgerton. And while the actress who plays Eloise's older sister, Daphne, is younger than Jessie, the seasoned actress does an amazing job of fitting into the teenage role. 

This character, and the actress who played her, brought so much empowerment to Bridgerton

There's no more amazing person than a queen, and Bridgerton brought empowerment and diversity to the role of Queen Charlotte with Golda Rosheuvel. The amazing actress brought a thoroughly engaging curiosity to the role, all while showing viewers the very vulnerable parts of her personal life. And according to Rosheuvel, the role of Queen Charlotte speaks volumes. "There were so many layers to Queen Charlotte, and being a Black queen was just one of them," she told Essence. "I wanted to create a well-rounded character, and a complex character." 


Rosheuvel went on to explain how crucial Queen Charlotte was (and is) to the show, and what it meant for a Black woman to be seen in such an influential position. "I think having somebody of color at the top of the food chain enables us as artists and as a Black community. I think it's really, really important because it expands and gives us the space and the area to breathe as human beings," she continued. "I think there was great empowerment and power in that for people of color." Only more of this moving forward, please.

Phoebe Dynevor wasn't overwhelmed by the response to Bridgerton for this reason

Bridgerton really took the streaming world by storm. It seemed like everyone and their mother was watching it, and for good reason: it's excellent. But despite the soaring viewership and the widely-acclaimed response, Phoebe Dynevor wasn't too overwhelmed. According to Deadline, Dynevor comes from a film industry family: her mom has starred in the soap opera Coronation Street for a long time, and her father is a screenwriter. 


Dynevor explained that her experience, not only as an actress on other projects, but also as someone who's been exposed to the industry for some time, helped her navigate the response to Bridgerton. "By the time they were like, 'You're going to be number one on a call sheet of a Netflix show with Shonda [Rhimes], it wasn't a completely overwhelming terrifying feeling because I felt like I had earned my stripes," she said. 

Despite being prepared, Dynevor said that she's gotten quite a boost in her career since appearing in Bridgerton. "There's definitely been a shift in [incoming enquiries]... I feel like it's a breakthrough moment."

The voice of Lady Whistledown in Bridgerton belongs to none other than this iconic actress

Some of you know Julie Andrews from The Princess Diaries, others from Mary Poppins, and some from the iconic musical The Sound of Music. So if you listened to both the narrator of Bridgerton and the voice of Lady Whistledown and thought to yourself, "That voice sounds familiar," you're not wrong: Lady Whistledown was voiced by none other than Andrews herself. "She was at the top of our list for Lady Whistledown," show creator Chris Van Dusen told The Oprah Magazine. "We offered her the part, sent her the scripts, not thinking anything would really come of it. But surprisingly she read the scripts and fell in love with them." 


Van Dusen said that he "had such a blast" writing the lines for Andrews, because he gave her some raunchy lines that people wouldn't expect someone like Andrews to say. And the author who started it all, Julia Quinn, shared that she couldn't believe Andrews agreed to voice the London gossip. "When they told me I legitimately stopped breathing," Quinn said. "I mean, I should be dead." We would respond exactly the same way.

Bridgerton was the on-screen debut for this amazing actor

You might not believe this, but Bridgerton marked the on-screen debut for Martins Imhangbe, the dynamic actor who played Will Mondrich, world-class boxer and Simon's best friend. From his performance, you'd think that Imhangbe was a seasoned pro, but the show was his first; as such, the response he's gotten due to his killer performance (and his gorgeous face and physique), has been a tad overwhelming. "I knew the show was good, but I didn't know it was going to have this huge reception," he told People. "It's mind-blowing."


Imhangbe made a point to highlight his character's dedication to his family, his complex mentality, and his striving for a better future. "It was nice to see people being included into the story and not feeling like they don't exist or they don't belong or they're not privileged enough to be sat at the table," he continued. "So it felt like a very proud moment, and I hope that this opens a lot more doors and it just sets an example, that there's nothing to be afraid of." 

We love Bridgerton. Petition to have 17 seasons, just like Shonda Rhimes' iconic show Grey's Anatomy.