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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Paul McAuley

Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey thought he ‘needed to be straight’ to be happy

Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey has opened up about the pressure he faced to hide his sexuality as he feared it would affect his chances of making it big.

The 33-year-old said he thought he needed to be straight to be happy and to have a career in the acting industry. Jonathan explained an actor friend of his was given advice to cover up who he really was and so he thought he needed to do the same early on in his career.

Jonathan’s friend was told during pilot season, the time when studios create samples of new shows, there were two things the industry didn’t want to know about actors.

READ MORE: Bridgerton season 2 trailer released as Netflix confirm release date

In an frank and open interview with GQ Hype, Jonathan said: “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. 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.”

The RuPaul's Drag Race special guest judge admitted the comment weighed on his mind for some time. However, Jonathan later decided to prioritise his own happiness over landing roles. The former Broadchurch actor said: “I reached a point where I thought, ‘f*** 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.”

Jonathan came out as gay in 2018, two years before shooting to fame performing as womaniser Anthony Bridgerton in the hit Netflix show, Bridgerton. Jonathan said he is a better actor as a result of it.

The Laurence Olivier Award winner, who said he finds it cringe being considered a ‘sex-symbol’, admits his own life has a significant impact on his work. He said: “You put your life experiences into (the work and) what’s most interesting is not necessarily having to talk about what that is, and keeping a sense of privacy.'

Bridgerton season 2 premieres worldwide on Netflix on March 25th.

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