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‘Bridgerton’ Star Jonathan Bailey Says He Felt Pressure To Hide His Sexuality For The Sake Of His Career

Photo: Netflix / Cubankite / Shutterstock
Jonathan Bailey

With season two of “Bridgerton” set to air on Netflix later this month, Jonathan Bailey’s love life is likely to be under more scrutiny than ever — both on-screen and off.

Bailey, who plays Anthony Bridgerton, will be the male leading this season, as the show turns its focus away from Phoebe Dynevor’s Daphne Bridgerton and Rege-Jean Page’s Duke Of Hastings.

Despite playing a hearthrob on-screen, Bailey says navigating the acting industry as a gay man hasn’t always been easy.

Jonathan Bailey says he once felt pressure to hide his sexuality for the sake of his career.

Bailey told GQ UK that an actor friend of his once relayed advice he’d received about coming out.

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“‘There’s two things we don’t want to know: if you’re an alcoholic or if you’re gay,’” Bailey recalled.

“All it takes is for one of those people in that position of power to say that, and it ripples through,” he says. “So, yeah, of course I thought that. Of course I thought that in order to be happy I needed to be straight.”

In preparation for the release of the new season, you might be wondering who Bailey is dating in real life.

Who is Jonathan Bailey’s partner?

Jonathan Bailey’s boyfriend has been reported to be James Ellis, though the actor is extremely private about his personal life and has never addressed this rumor.

Jonathan Bailey and James Ellis were spotted together last year.

The pair were photographed having dinner together in Notting Hill, London last summer.

Ellis also accompanied Bailey to the 2019 Olivier Awards, where they shared a kiss after he won an award for his work in the West End revival of “Company.”

Bailey has made no mention of having a partner on social media or in interviews so it is unclear if the two are still a couple.

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Despite his privacy about his personal life, Bailey has said he doesn’t wish for his sexuality to be a secret. Bailey decided to disregard the advice he had received early in his career.

“I reached a point where I thought, ‘F-ck 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.”

Luckily this perspective has worked out in his favor and hasn’t limited his acting career. 

As well as starring in “Bridgerton,” Bailey is currently appearing alongside Taron Egerton in a stage production of “Cock” in which the pair play a couple going through relationship issues after Bailey’s character falls for a woman.

Bailey has said that he enjoys playing a straight character and doesn’t think sexuality should matter when it comes to filling roles but admits there is a lack of gay actors telling the own stories.

“I think it shouldn't matter at all what character people play, but of course there is a narrative that's very clear, that openly gay men aren't playing straight in leading roles.”

"A lot of straight men have gone on to play iconic gay roles and to be lauded for that is fantastic,” he added.

"But wouldn't it be brilliant to see gay men play their own experience?"

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

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