The Truth About The Actor Who Plays Anthony On Bridgerton

Over the last few years, actor Jonathan Bailey has been gaining momentum in his career. Following his early on-screen successes appearing on British television series such as "Crashing" and "Broadchurch," the British small-screen star managed to snag the role of a lifetime when he was cast as Lord Anthony Bridgerton on Netflix's popular original series "Bridgerton." "Bridgerton" is based on a series of novels by author Julia Quinn. Starring in the show alongside castmates Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor, Bailey brought the character to life with such talent that he quickly became a fan favorite.

When the trailer for Season 2 of "Bridgerton" was released on Valentine's Day, it was confirmed to fans that Bailey would be the main focus of the coming episodes. The trailer includes some scandalous moments and promising plots, as well as the promise of endeavors for Bailey's character. "This is the season the viscount intends to find a wife," his fictional mother says almost ominously as the preview plays out, per E! Online. Bailey is nothing short of a star this time around, and stardom is what he has been after for a long time.

This actor fell in love with performing early

On April 28, 1988, Jonathan Bailey made his way into the world in Oxfordshire, England. He grew up in Benson, a village of less than 5,000 people less than 50 miles from London, per GQ. His parents raised him in a loving household alongside his three sisters. Bailey recently recalled happy memories that he shared with his siblings. Though they were older than him, Bailey's sisters maintained a strong presence in his life. The budding performer's sisters would bring him CDs, and he would choreograph performances to the music for his family. "I'd have to go up to my room and perfect the performance," he said of those days.

At just 5 years old, the rising star decided that he was destined for the world of performance arts. Bailey attended a performance of "Oliver!" with his family and knew he would enjoy the production more from the stage than from a seat. "I remember announcing to my family something very clichéd like, 'I want to be up there one day," Bailey recalled thinking to himself throughout the performance, per Closer Online. After the performance, Bailey's parents put him in dance lessons in an effort to support his goals.

Jonathan Bailey found success on stage

Just a few years after "Bridgerton" star Jonathan Bailey saw the "Oliver!" performance that changed his life forever, he began to see success as an actor. As a child in 1995, Bailey earned a spot in the cast of "A Christmas Carol" for the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company, according to Closer Online. His motivation increased when he was working at a lemon curd factory, recalling how he would fantasize about being an actor as he worked in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. He continued to pursue theater roles as his film career developed. He appeared in "Othello" in 2013 at the Royal National Theatre, and later won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his 2018 performance in a modernized revival of "Company," via Broadway World. Maintaining a presence in the theater circuit and on television shows, Bailey has proved that his talents are multifaceted.

Though Bailey had found success on the stage and on the screen, he had mostly been landing supporting roles. It wasn't until he landed his "Bridgerton" role that he began to feel like a leading man. Before "Bridgerton," Bailey recalled, "I've never gone into a screen test and had the 'That's him!' reaction," Bailey told GQ. "I've always crept round through the back door." Since 2020, though, Bailey's confidence has been rising, and for a good reason.

He let the world in on a secret

In 2020, the same year that "Bridgerton" premiered on Netflix, actor Jonathan Bailey decided that it was time to let the world in on a secret that he had been keeping for years. He came out as gay. For years, Bailey felt that he had to hide his sexuality in order to secure roles as an actor. When he was younger, he overheard an actor friend receiving some advice that stuck with him. "At the time he was told, 'There's two things we don't want to know: if you're an alcoholic or if you're gay,'" the actor recalled in an interview with GQ. "All it takes is for one of those people in that position of power to say that, and it ripples through. So, yeah, of course I thought that. Of course I thought that in order to be happy I needed to be straight," he continued. Two years ago, he'd had enough of the secrecy.

"I reached a point where I thought, 'F**k this, I'd much prefer to hold my boyfriend's hand in public or be able to put my own face picture on Tinder and not be so concerned about that than get a part'," Bailey said of his coming out experience in Queerty. As a teen and a college student, Bailey kept his sexuality hidden from his small-town peers. These days, he's much more proud of who he is.

Is he dating anyone?

Though Jonathan Bailey is no longer hiding his sexuality, he continues to keep his romantic life a secret. He hasn't been romantically linked to the public eye, but he did divulge his earliest crushes in an interview with Harper's Bazaar. "My first crush was probably Anita in 'Heartbreak High,'". He says, adding, "if not Anita, then Prince Eric." While he appears to be single, he may be looking, and he shared an intimate detail of what he's looking for in a relationship in his interview.

"The most romantic thing I think someone's done for me is running a bath and then sitting with you while you have your bath, and you know, having a chat, I think is pretty mega. Put the toilet seat down and just sort of be there while you bathe. I think there's something really sweet and brilliant and, you're naked, and you know –- I think that's really romantic," said Bailey of his ideal romance to Harper's Bazaar. He also divulges that his biggest deal breaker is dishonesty.

Bailey is beloved as Lord Anthony Bridgerton, but there's so much more to him than that. The actor is a self-proclaimed music lover, and he told Harper's Bazaar that he would be pursuing a career as a primary school teacher if he weren't an actor.

Look out for Jonathan Bailey in Bridgerton's 2nd season

Jonathan Bailey is as excited as his fans are for his return to "Bridgerton" for a 2nd season as Lord Anthony Bridgterton. He's spent months filming his character's journey in love, and he's looking forward to sharing a steamier, sexier season of the series with viewers, per Bustle. He also enjoys how modern the sentiment of the story feels despite the series aesthetic as a period piece. "It's funny because even though Bridgerton is obviously a period drama, Anthony's story is quite modern in the sense that he's reached a point where he genuinely believes that love will never happen for him," he says of the upcoming episodes.

The season will be based on author Julia Quinn's book "The Viscount Who Loved Me," which is the 2nd season. The new season is set to premiere on Friday, March 25, 2022, according to Elle. Much of the original cast will be returning, so be sure to pop some popcorn and tune in to see some old favorites.