10 Things You Never Knew About 'Bridgerton' Actor Jonathan Bailey

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Thanks to his starring role in Bridgerton, which returns for a second season later this month, Jonathan Bailey is very hot property indeed. At present, he's also starring in the West End play C*ck, opposite Taron Egerton, so we're taking a moment to find out more about him. Here are 10 things you might not know about this charismatic actor whose other credits include BBC America's Broadchurch and the Doctor Who episode "Time Heist."
1. He made his acting debut at seven years old.
Bailey told The Guardian he was bitten by the acting bug as a six-year-old, when he was taken to see a stage production of Oliver!. "There was no sense of professional artistry in our family, but I said to my parents: I’m going to do that!" he recalled. "Within a year, just by chance, I got scouted. I ended up playing Tiny Tim with the Royal Shakespeare Company in A Christmas Carol at the Barbican [in London] in 1995."
2. Initially, he thought it better to hide his sexuality for the sake of his career.
Bailey told GQ recently that for a long time, he abided by some advice that a fellow actor had shared with him: "There's two things we don't want to know: if you're an alcoholic or if you're gay.'"
However, Bailey eventually got tired of having to keep up this pretense. "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 getting a part," he added.
3. He originally auditioned to play a different Bridgerton character.
Namely: Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, a role that ultimately went to Regé-Jean Page. Bailey actually made it quite far into the casting process for this part before everyone realized he was better suited to playing Anthony Bridgerton.
"It got to the point where I flew to America to have a cup of tea and meet the showrunners and producers at Shondaland," Bailey told British Vogue. "I chatted with them and read as the Duke of Hastings – but there was this awkwardness in the room. Finally, somebody said: 'What about Anthony?' And then, of course, I got really invested in the character. In this world that's so lavish and sexy, Anthony's a bit complicated, a bit odd – quite off-center, really."
4. He explained the concept of "sliding" into someone's DMs to Sir Ian McKellen
Yes, really. Bailey gave Sir Ian a quick lesson on social media flirting during a conversation, which ran in Attitude magazine. 
5. He's an award-winning stage actor.
Bailey won an Olivier Award, the top accolade in British theater, for his performance in the 2019 revival of Stephen Sondheim's Company. His co-stars in the show included Broadway legend Patti LuPone and former The Great British Baking Show host Mel Giedroyc. You can watch him accepting his award below.

6. He has a terrific singing voice.
As you'll see in his audition for a 2016 London production of The Last Five Years. Spoiler: he got the part!

7. He loves taking a bath.
Actually, Bailey really loves taking a bath. He became an especially avid bather when the U.K. was in lockdown last year. "I've had weeks where I've had a minimum of two a day," he told London's Evening Standard at the time. "Actually, that's awful. Don't put that, 'cause it’s wasting water."
8. If he wasn't an actor, he'd love to be a junior school teacher.
Bailey has described teachers as "modern-day heroes" and says he really appreciates the junior school teachers who are educating his nieces.
"Watching the next generation of Baileys grow up, you just realize how informative those years are, and I think being a part of that is pretty special," he told Harper's Bazaar.
9. He once had a slightly cringeworthy encounter with Rihanna.
It happened at a Netflix party, shortly after Bailey had been introduced to the pop singer. He wasn't afraid to share what happened, in quite some detail, during a Harper's Bazaar interview.
"I went over and was like, 'Hey, it's great isn't it? How are you doing? You having a good night, yeah?' Just dancing around, and her team sort of enveloped her and made it very clear that perhaps, you know, that wasn't my little space to get down," he recalled. "So I walked back and someone went, he was sort of jaw open and just said: ‘We don’t do that to Ri Ri.’ And I said, ‘No you don’t, I do.’ And then I walked out of the party and got in a taxi and went home."
10. And finally, Phoebe Waller-Bridge reckons he "operates at a different voltage."
Bayley starred opposite Waller-Bridge in Crashing, a sitcom she made before her work on Fleabag and Killing Eve. "He's a meteorite of fun with an incredible amount of energy and playfulness," Waller-Bridge told GQ recently. "Smoldering at one turn and then utterly innocent at the next, but all the time playing with this sense of untapped danger. That is the quality I love most about Jonny as a person and as a performer: his danger."
Do you have a favorite Jonathan Bailey performance to date?