Words: Alastair James; pictures: Netflix
Bridgerton heartthrob Jonathan Bailey has been discussing moving from supporting character to full lead and says he channeled any anxiety he had into his performance.
In the Netflix smash hit's first series, Bailey's Viscount Anthony Bridgerton played second fiddle to Regé-Jean Page's Duke. In season two he takes on the male protagonist role and has also revealed that Anthony will be looking for a wife, which may or may not be easily sorted.
The series, which returns on 25 March, will see Anthony caught in a love triangle with two new characters - sisters Kate and Edwina Sharma, played by Simone Ashley and Charithra Chandran respectively.
"I was feeling similar"
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Jonathan says he channeled his anxiety about his elevated role into his performance, relating to his character.
"I felt super kooky and I don't know if that's necessarily unhelpful when it came to Anthony," he says. "The one thing I've always remembered reading the script was like, 'Well, this is someone who's incredibly anxious, who can't sleep at night and is struggling to even get through a meal.' That felt quite right that I was feeling similar."
Regarding his search for a partner and the difficulty of a love triangle Jonathan explains that Anthony is drawn to both and vice versa, which he says makes for an "interesting love triangle."
He adds: "It's dangerous when it's siblings. It's bestial between them in a way season 1 wasn't. They're all animals with each other."
It appears it might be Kate whom Anthony is more drawn to despite a clash of personalities. On the relationship, Bailey teases that "enemies to lovers is extreme," but that "they can hit each other's buttons within a second, and it's something that's instinctive. Their sense of self they project to other people, they can't do that [with one another]; they're naked in front of each other."
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He goes on to say "Edwina and Kate are the embodiment of his approaches to love — one is head, one is heart," says Bailey. "The push and pull [illustrates] how intense it is to fall in love in a society that is so rigid, where the gender roles are so specific, and how much those roles can be completely counterproductive to happiness, progression, and to love."
He tells EW that he didn't want to play Anthony as the tired old alpha male type character that we're used to in period dramas. Instead, he wanted to focus on more intimate moments with the character telling EW that moments such as when Anthony is leaving a lover's bed, is "him at his most honest and fatigued and exhausted. Everything outside that is a construct."
In September 2021 some of the cast joined Netflix's TUDUM to discuss the upcoming series where Jonathan teased a lot of "volatility" from Anthony. Watch a clip from the show's second season below.
Bridgerton season 2 is due on Netflix 25 March. Season 1 is available to watch now.
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