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Monday February 26, 2024

Jonathan Bailey's diversity with Fellow Travelers: Declares 'No-Brainer' following Bridgerton success

Jonathan Bailey dishes on why showtime period drama became his ideal next endeavor

December 08, 2023
Jonathan Baileys aiming for a groundbreaking love story.
Jonathan Bailey's aiming for a groundbreaking love story.

Jonathan Bailey renowned for his portrayal as the male romantic lead in Bridgerton's second season, has chosen a compelling new direction in his career. 

Opting to star alongside Matt Bomer in Showtime's Fellow Travelers, a romantic period drama spanning the turbulent times from the 1950s Joseph McCarthy communist trials to the 1980s AIDS crisis, was an unequivocal decision for Bailey.

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE for this week's issue, the 35-year-old actor shared his enthusiasm for the project, emphasizing that playing a gay character in a sweeping love story was a "no-brainer." 

Bailey expressed his prior quest for such narratives, stating, "I had looked for these gay stories, a sweeping gay love story, and I hadn't really seen them. This ticked every single box, and it's something I know I'll be proud of for the rest of my career."

Having initially captured the audience's attention with his breakthrough role as Anthony Bridgerton, the proud and surly viscount in Shonda Rhimes's Regency-era drama, Bailey's deliberate choice to be part of Fellow Travelers underscores his commitment to diverse and impactful storytelling. 

The actor who had previously awaited auditions and projects, now finds himself in a position to make choices—an uncommon privilege in the industry.

He acknowledges the uniqueness of this position, emphasizing the responsibility that comes with it. "I have a responsibility, therefore, not to waste that," he states.

Hailing from Benson, England, Bailey's upbringing was shaped by his father, Stuart, a managing director at a honey supplier, and his mother, Carole, who held multiple jobs to make ends meet. 

Carole's dedication extended to financing dance and music lessons for Bailey and his three older sisters. School posed challenges for Bailey, who found solace in his family, the theater, and his closest friend.

At the tender age of 11, Bailey began to grapple with his sexual orientation, realizing he might be gay. 

During this period, he sought solace and understanding within the realms of his family, the theater, and the unwavering support of his best friend.