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Why Theo Sharpe From Bridgerton Season 2 Looks So Familiar

There is perhaps no sophomore season more eagerly anticipated right now than Bridgerton's. The Shondaland period drama was arguably the single biggest runaway hit of the 2020-21 TV calendar, with enormous cultural impact and all-timer viewership numbers for Netflix, via CNET. As further seasons dive deeper into the universe of Julia Queen's novels, we can expect the already stacked ensemble to keep adding exciting new players, and these actors can certainly expect to make a splash with audiences.

That may well be the case for Calam Lynch, who is set to portray Theo Sharpe on Bridgerton's second season. A show-exclusive character, Theo was described by Deadline as "a hardworking printer's assistant" who "fights for the rights for all" in addition to his life as a working-class man. If you've been following Bridgerton casting announcements as eagerly as we have, you might be wondering where you've seen this young British actor before. The answer: in quite a few places, actually.

Calam Lynch played one of the deceived children of Alexander Wilson on Mrs. Wilson

After studying at Oxford, doing numerous stage plays as both a student and a professional (via Independent Talent), and even getting a blink-and-you'll-miss-it role in Dunkirk as the guy who answers "Yes, sir!" when Kenneth Branagh asks if he's from Deal, Calam Lynch's screen breakout came in 2018 with Mrs. Wilson. The gripping three-episode BBC miniseries follows the real-life story of Alexander "Alec" Wilson (Iain Glen), an MI6 spy who led multiple lives, as told from the point of view of one of his many unwitting wives, Alison (Ruth Wilson, playing her own grandmother).

Lynch plays Gordon, the eldest of the two sons Alison tries to shield away from the truth of their father's polygamy as it emerges following his sudden death. A Royal Navy officer, Gordon is the first to become suspicious of his father and second-guess Alison's reassurances, and his personal digging into the mystery drives a wedge between him and his mother. Although it was a role charged with nuance and tension that took full advantage of Lynch's classical training, catapulting him to mainstream attention in the U.K., some critics did note that Gordon was portrayed less sympathetically than his brother Nigel (Otto Farrant). Variety went so far as to remark that "there's an apparent bias in the portrayal of Alison and Alec's sons, with Ruth Wilson's father Nigel coming across as a much more likeable person than his older brother Gordon."

He was the jerk who stood Erin up on Derry Girls

Calam Lynch appeared on a single episode of the Channel 4 sitcom Derry Girls, but fans haven't been exactly clamoring for his character to return. On season 2's "The Prom," which focuses on the girls' efforts to score dates for the school's 1950s-style prom, he plays Erin (Saoirse-Monica Jackson)'s heretofore-committed crush John Paul, whom she views as an ex-boyfriend because he once kissed her on the cheek. When she sees him breaking up with his model girlfriend, Erin finally works up the nerve to ask him out as her date.

Unfortunately, despite her comical self-delusion about their "relationship," John Paul never shows up at Erin's house, prompting her friend James (Dylan Llewellyn) to ditch his Doctor Who convention and take her to the prom so she won't be dateless. In an interview with YMC, Lynch himself lambasted John Paul for his douchery. "I never met my grandma but she was from Derry so [the role in Derry Girls] was for her!" he said. "Hopefully she avoided too many characters like mine when she was growing up."

Calam Lynch was a kind-hearted rich boy in Disney's Black Beauty

After playing Iain Glen's son on Mrs. Wilson, Calam Lynch went on to work with the Scottish actor again in Black Beauty, a 2020 Disney+ film that tells the story of the bond between a wild mare, the titular Beauty (voiced by Kate Winslet), and an orphan girl, Jo Green (Mackenzie Foy). After Beauty is bought by a rich family, Jo's uncle John (Glen) convinces them to take the girl as a tenant, and it's there that she meets polar-opposite siblings George (Lynch) and Georgina Winthrop (Fern Deacon).

While Georgina is cruel to Beauty and doesn't care about Jo, George proves to be kind, compassionate, and willing to help Jo and Beauty be together as best he can, even as it puts him into conflict with his own family. Eventually, he becomes Jo's romantic interest. This was a significant departure from Anna Sewell's source novel, in which Foy's character was a boy. In an interview with YouTube channel Black Girl Nerds, Lynch expressed satisfaction at getting to play a male love interest in equal footing with the female protagonist. "Jo is her own person, and I liked that their relationship felt more real than 'He comes and saves her.' He doesn't," the actor explained.

Lynch, who had no prior experience with horse riding, had to learn it for the role, unlike his well-versed co-star. In the same interview, he admitted to being "nothing compared to Mackenzie, [who] was a total pro." Even for the Oxford-trained thespian, working with horses proved to be a uniquely enriching experience, as, unlike human actors, "they cut right through" the difficulties and complexities of emotional communication. We can expect the juicy Regency intrigue of Bridgerton to be a challenge of similar scale for Lynch, who is now poised to have the biggest breakthrough of his career so far.