'Bridgerton' Star Jonathan Bailey Reveals the Reason He Hid His Sexuality

Bridgerton standout Jonathan Bailey's sexuality only recently became a topic of discussion. As the Netflix show's proclaimed "ladies man," his character Anthony Bridgerton became seen as a sex symbol, but Bailey's personal life is much more private than that of his characters. The actor reveals in a new interview with GQ that an actor friend of his told him a story about someone advising him not to speak openly about his sexuality. 

"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,'" Bailey recalled for the outlet. "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."

Bailey's close friends and family were already made aware of his sexuality. He eventually came to a place where he decided living his life authentically was more important than hiding his sexuality for a position. "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."

Bailey's Bridgerton performance may have viewers looking at him as a new sex symbol, but he shies away from the marker. "Any actor who thinks they're a sex symbol? Cringe," he told the outlet. Though, fans will get to see Anthony Bridgerton in a deeper light in the upcoming second season of the series. The added nuance to his character has added another level of interest for Bailey. "You put your life experiences into [the work]," he said. "What's most interesting is not necessarily having to talk about what that is, and keeping a sense of privacy."

His Crashing co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge describes him as quite a talent. "Jonny operates at a different voltage," says Waller-Bridge. "He's a meteorite of fun with an incredible amount of energy and playfulness. Smouldering 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."