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What The Bridgerton Cast Looks Like In Real Life

When the first season of "Bridgerton" dropped on Christmas Day 2020, it quickly became an international sensation, launching several young actors to stardom and cementing itself as one of the most binge-worthy dramas of the streaming era. What made the Netflix show such a big hit? The set designs and costumes are lush and colorful, and the soundtrack blends classical music with contemporary pop hits, creating a world that feels both regal in its historical aspects and futuristic in its aesthetic flair. The soapy writing, in keeping with the style of Julia Quinn's novels (upon which the show is based), keeps viewers entertained throughout, but there are just enough flashes of deeper character arcs to assuage feelings of total superficiality.

More than anything, though, "Bridgerton" became a smash hit because of its phenomenal cast. A romance show can only be as good as its two leads, and Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page absolutely nailed their end of the bargain in Season 1. They were surrounded by a large ensemble of equally compelling characters, from the other Bridgerton siblings to established social figures like Queen Charlotte and Lady Danbury. The overall chemistry of the cast gives the whole series a sense of unity that pulls audiences into Shonda Rhimes' Regency-era world. But what do the stars of the show look like out of those fancy costumes? Read on to find out.

Regé-Jean Page (Simon Basset)

For many, Regé-Jean Page's turn as Duke Simon Basset defined "Bridgerton" Season 1. He delivered a riveting performance as the enigmatic bachelor, winning over viewers instantly. Page played the character with a mixture of emotional vulnerability and undeniable coolness, matching the style of the show perfectly. It was devastating for fans to learn that Page wouldn't be returning for "Bridgerton" Season 2, but fortunately, they'll have plenty of other opportunities to catch him on screen in the future.

Page got his acting start on the British stage, but he didn't develop much of a reputation with American audiences until his role as Chicken George in the 2016 remake of "Roots," a performance that earned him high praise from critics. Following that acclaimed turn, Page had his first collaboration with Shonda Rhimes on the ABC legal drama "For the People," which ran for two seasons from 2018 to 2019. Clearly, Rhimes was impressed with Page's work, as he was later brought back into her fold to lead Season 1 of "Bridgerton."

Other than the Regency-era clothing, Simon Basset doesn't diverge too much in his overall look from Page's day-to-day. Now that his star has risen so high, fans can expect to see him and his piercing gaze in major film and TV projects for years to come. In 2021, Variety revealed that he had joined the cast of the upcoming "Dungeons & Dragons" movie in a lead role.

Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne Bridgerton)

Phoebe Dynevor was already a veteran of television by the time she was cast as Daphne Bridgerton. Her first prominent role was on the BBC drama "Waterloo Road," which also once featured her "Bridgerton" co-star Regé-Jean Page. After that, she had recurring roles on shows like "Prisoners' Wives," "Dickensian," "Younger," and "Snatch," building an impressive resume before she even turned 25. However, none of those performances earned her the same kind of recognition as her leading turn in "Bridgerton" did — the Netflix show established Dynevor as one of the preeminent young stars of the industry.

If Daphne as a character doesn't work, then "Bridgerton" as a show doesn't work. Fortunately, with Dynevor in the role, that was never going to be an issue. Her work as Daphne is enrapturing and deeply compelling, giving the show's first season the beating heart that carries it from beginning to end. In Dynevor's hands, Daphne becomes a nuanced lead, giving viewers a preview of the kinds of performances she'll no doubt be delivering in the future now that she's made such a name for herself. Daphne's return in "Bridgerton" Season 2 helps add some extra dimension to the character, showing her impressive skills as a leader and her acute understanding of human behavior.

Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury)

Adjoa Andoh's Lady Danbury is the glue that holds the story of "Bridgerton" together. She's the matchmaker, the storyteller, and in some ways, the audience surrogate, lending a keen eye and a sharp sense of humor to the events of the show. Lady Danbury is a mother figure to Simon, but she's also a matriarch to the whole ton — someone who commands similar respect to Queen Charlotte, but whose lower station affords her more social freedom. Andoh plays the role perfectly, exemplifying the kind of expertise and precision she's displayed throughout her long career.

As a younger actor, Andoh was equally well known for British stage plays and TV shows like "EastEnders" and "Casualty." She's been a stalwart of English television for decades, with credits on prestigious series like "Doctor Who," "Broadchurch," and "Law & Order: UK." Her film credits include the likes of "Invictus" and "Fractured." In addition to her extensive work on camera, Andoh is also a prolific voice actor, playing major characters in various audio dramas and video games, such as "Kameo," "Horizon Zero Dawn," and the "Fable" series. The classical garb and fancy hairdos of her "Bridgerton" character are a bit of a departure from her usual look, but Andoh is an icon of style and grace everywhere she goes.

Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte)

Towering over all the drama of "Bridgerton" is Queen Charlotte, played exquisitely by Golda Rosheuvel. A veteran of both the stage and screen, Rosheuvel has broken ground in several major productions over the years, such as when she played the eponymous lead role in a queer rendition of Shakespeare's Othello. "It's amazing to be a black gay actress playing a gay role," she said of the production during an interview with Liverpool Queer Collective. Before "Bridgerton," her television credits included big shows like "Casualty," "Torchwood," "Luther," and "EastEnders." She also had a small part as the Fremen Shadout Mapes in Denis Villeneuve's "Dune."

As Queen Charlotte, Rosheuvel is as commanding as she is elegant. She imbues the monarch with heart and feeling — largely tied to her relationship with her ailing husband — but she never loses sight of the inherent fun of the character. Charlotte is a queen who adores gossip and loves being right, two traits that lead to all kinds of drama on the Netflix show. Rosheuvel's performance brought the character to life so vividly that Netflix ordered a prequel series to explore Charlotte's past. Her real-life aesthetic is a bit less extravagant than that of her "Bridgerton" character, but Rosheuvel is no less imposing and awe-inspiring on the red carpet.

Ruby Barker (Marina Thompson)

Ruby Barker's Marina Thompson plays a major role in the story of "Bridgerton" Season 1, and she continues to feature in the show thereafter. In many ways, Marina is painted as a tragic figure — a young woman thrown into desperate circumstances by the harsh societal expectations of her time. Though she is eventually married to Philip Crane, the brother of her dead lover and uncle to her unborn child, it's a loveless affair simply meant to protect her from ostracization. Barker brings a lot of complexity to her performance as Marina, making the character's plight hard to swallow for viewers.

Though she's still young, Barker has already built a strong body of acting work, featuring on TV shows like the CBBC teen fantasy series "Wolfblood," the medical soap opera "Doctors," and the Sky One drama "COBRA." In 2020, she won an award at the British Urban Film Festival for her performance in the thriller "How to Stop a Recurring Dream," her debut movie. Barker doesn't look too different out of her "Bridgerton" costume and makeup, and if her great turn on the Netflix romance is any indication, fans will be able to catch her in a lot of other exciting projects down the road.

Jonathan Bailey (Anthony Bridgerton)

Blunt, dutiful, and a bit self-righteous, Viscount Anthony Bridgerton makes a lot of mistakes in the Netflix show, but he also grows and eventually becomes a much better person. Jonathan Bailey plays Anthony masterfully through all his different moods and stages, lending an emotional depth to the character that makes him sympathetic even in his worst moments. Bailey truly shines in "Bridgerton" Season 2, where Anthony's romance with ton newcomer Kate Sharma takes center stage.

A veteran of the British stage and screen, Bailey has had major roles in shows like the hit crime procedural "Broadchurch," the BBC mockumentary sitcom "W1A," and the Phoebe Waller-Bridge dramedy series "Crashing," among many others. He's also a talented musical performer, holding an Olivier Award for his West End performance in the 2018 revival of Stephen Sondheim's "Company" and boasting several other prominent stage appearances scattered across his career. Bailey's regular appearance isn't all that different from that of the viscount, although you would never see Anthony Bridgerton with that much facial hair. We dread to think what the ton would say if he went out in public with so much stubble.

Sabrina Bartlett (Siena Rosso)

Sabrina Bartlett made a big splash in "Bridgerton" Season 1 as opera singer Siena Rosso. Siena entered into a scandalous relationship with Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in one of the first season's central plotlines, providing a powerful juxtaposition to the strict rules and courtship procedures of the ton's high society. Though she doesn't appear in person in "Bridgerton" Season 2, her shadow still looms large over Anthony as he navigates his romance with Kate Sharma and deals with the mistakes of his past.

Outside of "Bridgerton," Bartlett's acting work mostly consists of other TV shows. She's featured in British series like "Poldark," "Doctor Who," "Midsomer Murders," and "Da Vinci's Demons," and she's had major roles in more recent fare such as the historical drama series "Knightfall" and the ITV shows "Victoria" and "The Larkins." Bartlett also played one of Arya Stark's disguised forms in the "Game of Thrones" episode "The Winds of Winter." Her real-life look is certainly more comfortable than the garb of a Regency-era opera singer.

Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington)

For most of "Bridgerton" Season 1, Nicola Coughlan plays Penelope Featherington as a meek and unassuming young woman. By the time the credits roll on the season finale, the audience is in on Penelope's big secret — that she is the notorious gossip writer Lady Whistledown. After Season 1, Coughlan gets to stretch a lot more in the role of Pen, balancing the expectations put on her by her family and the rules of society with her illicit endeavors as the ton's most influential voice.

Apart from "Bridgerton," Coughlan is best known for her starring role in the Channel 4 comedy series "Derry Girls," which follows a group of young friends during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Her other TV roles include appearances in the period drama "Harlots" and "Doctors." Coughlan has also strayed beyond the realm of scripted television on several occasions, with guest appearances on reality shows like "RuPaul's Drag Race UK" and "Taskmaster." Out of her "Bridgerton" costume and makeup, Coughlan looks a good deal different, and it will be interesting to see how her portrayal of Penelope evolves as the show continues.

Polly Walker (Lady Featherington)

Veteran British actor Polly Walker plays Lady Portia Featherington in "Bridgerton," the scheming matriarch of the Featherington family. At different times positioned as an antagonist, a comic relief character, and a sympathetic lead, Portia goes through some wild arcs on the Netflix series, all played spectacularly by Walker. Combining great comedic acting with moments of real emotional weight, Walker makes Lady Featherington much more than a humorous foil to the other esteemed women of the ton.

Walker's television career is impressive, to say the least. She is perhaps best known for playing Atia of the Julii on the HBO historical drama series "Rome," a performance that earned her a Golden Globe nomination in 2006. She's also featured prominently in shows like the "Battlestar Galactica" prequel "Caprica," the police procedural "Line of Duty," the "Batman" spinoff series "Pennyworth," and the BBC drama "Prisoners' Wives" (alongside "Bridgerton" co-star Phoebe Dynevor). Additionally, Walker has starred in films like "Enchanted April," the Tom Clancy adaptation "Patriot Games," and 1997's "The Gambler."

Throughout her career, Walker has delivered a consistently high standard of performance, seamlessly blending the comedic and dramatic to embody a broad range of iconic characters. She brings that same level of attentiveness, skill, and grace to her turn as Lady Featherington, and "Bridgerton" is all the better for it.

Ruth Gemmell (Lady Bridgerton)

Just as Lady Violet Bridgerton had already lived quite a life by the start of "Bridgerton" Season 1, Ruth Gemmell had quite a career on screen before being cast in the Netflix drama. Gemmell has appeared in several feature films over the years, with her most famous turn coming opposite Colin Firth in the 1997 rom-com "Fever Pitch" (not to be confused with the 2005 remake starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon). Most of Gemmell's acting work has been on TV, however, with major roles in the likes of "EastEnders," "Utopia," and the Sam Mendes-produced horror series "Penny Dreadful."

On "Bridgerton," Gemmell brings grace and fire to her performance as the eponymous family's respected matriarch. The widowed mother of eight children, Lady Violet is forced to be both a loving mother and a vigilant viscountess, balancing her responsibilities as a respected member of society with her familial obligations. That's not always an easy task, and Gemmell handles the emotional ups and downs of Lady Bridgerton's journey like a pro. Like many of the stars who play the show's high society members, Gemmell looks a bit less extravagant and a little more down-to-Earth out of her period costume.

Claudia Jessie (Eloise Bridgerton)

Eloise Bridgerton is one of the most popular characters in the Netflix series, and for good reason. As an outspoken champion of women's rights and critic of Regency society, she acts as the mouthpiece through which the writers criticize the standards of the day. That's not to say that Eloise isn't a fully-formed character in her own right, of course. Her sharp wit and unique perspective make her deeply compelling to watch, and Claudia Jessie does a fabulous job bringing the many different sides of Eloise to life on screen. Whether she's attending political rallies, putting men in their place at balls, or even falling in love, Jessie makes Eloise fierce and fun.

Jessie made her debut in the teen mystery series "House of Anubis," the first Nickelodeon show filmed outside America. She went on to appear in British staples like "Doctors," "Casualty," and "Doctor Who," and she had experience in period shows before "Bridgerton," having popped up in "Call the Midwife" and "Vanity Fair." In real life, Jessie is older than her "Bridgerton" character, and she looks a lot different when she's not being styled as a teenager.

Luke Newton (Colin Bridgerton)

Though Colin Bridgerton is a bit meeker than his two older brothers, his journey still intrigued viewers — he's a quiet and contemplative young man trying to figure out what he wants from life. Luke Newton plays the role with great nuance and poise, balancing Colin's introverted nature with his occasional propensity for youthful rashness. Though most of his storyline in "Bridgerton" Season 1 involves his courtship of Miss Marina Thompson, Colin's big-picture arc is tied to his relationship with Penelope Featherington, and his onscreen chemistry with Nicola Coughlan is a true highlight of the show.

Earlier in his career, Newton starred in the British teen drama "The Cut" and the Disney Channel series "The Lodge," in which he played the leading role of Ben Evans. Newton has also appeared in the likes of "Doctors" and the Jeremy Piven-led series "Mr Selfridge," a period drama about the founder of the famous London department store. The actor's real-life look is pretty similar to his appearance as Colin Bridgerton, but with far fewer coattails.

Luke Thompson (Benedict Bridgerton)

Benedict Bridgerton is a bit of a black sheep in his family, which is probably why he and Eloise share such a special bond. Because he's the second son, Benedict doesn't bear the burden of responsibility that his older brother Anthony does. As such, he's free to pursue his other interests — painting, drinking, and engaging in various trysts. Luke Thompson does an excellent job with his performance as Benedict, bringing a sly and sarcastic quality to the character. Driven by the actor's skill, Benedict becomes equally entertaining as the star of his own story and as a supporting character in the stories of others.

Thompson began his career as a stage actor, and he's accrued some impressive credits in that pursuit over the years. Given his particular focus on Shakespeare, it makes sense that the "Bridgerton" star has appeared in several productions at the Globe Theatre, as well as in West End productions of "King Lear" and "Hamlet." On television, Thompson has featured in shows like the BBC One drama "In the Club" and the Channel 4 thriller "Kiss Me First." He also popped up as a warrant officer in Christopher Nolan's World War II epic "Dunkirk."

Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich)

Boxer-turned-entrepreneur Will Mondrich is one of the more unique characters in "Bridgerton," played skillfully by relative unknown Martins Imhangbe. Will is introduced as a close friend of Simon Basset in Season 1, and the two are often shown sparring together while discussing their personal lives. In Season 2, Will owns and operates a gentleman's club — a business he kick-started with money earned from a thrown fight. Throughout the show, Will struggles with his obligations to his family and his own sense of pride, providing a compelling respite from all the balls and courting rituals.

A seasoned stage actor, Imhangbe has spent most of his career performing in productions across the London theater scene, collecting credits on everything from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller plays. He looks remarkably like his "Bridgerton" character in real life, which should make him easy to recognize for any fans who get to see his talents live.

Simone Ashley (Kate Sharma)

After the massive success of "Bridgerton" Season 1, it would have been a daunting task for any young actor to enter the show. After all, who could possibly deliver a leading romantic performance to compete with all the drama of Simon and Daphne's story? Fans knew that Anthony Bridgerton would be one half of the equation, but the other half was left unknown for a spell. Then, Simone Ashley was cast as Kate Sharma.

Ashley had high expectations placed on her "Bridgerton" debut months before the season even premiered, and it's a testament to her immense talent that she exceeded every single one of them. As Kate, Ashley is powerful, vulnerable, and deeply compelling, playing perfectly against Jonathan Bailey's Anthony.

Before "Bridgerton," Ashley's biggest roles were as Olivia Hanan in Netflix's "Sex Education," Dana in "Broadchurch," and Elise Fox in the ITV miniseries "The Sister." Films fans may recognize her from "Detective Pikachu," in which she had a small role. She looks pretty similar to how she appears in "Bridgerton" in real life, which may be because she's one of the few actors on the show who's actually the same age as her character.

Charithra Chandran (Edwina Sharma)

The younger of the two Sharma sisters introduced in "Bridgerton" Season 2, Miss Edwina makes a big impact on the ton by becoming Queen Charlotte's "diamond" of the season. Charithra Chandran plays the character with complexity and grace, embodying the various forces at war in Edwina's heart. She isn't the main romantic lead of Season 2, but Edwina's story arc is compelling, one that sees her confronting her societal conditioning and actively working to secure the future she wants for herself.

Chandran had only been acting on screen for a little while when she was cast in "Bridgerton." Her first major role was as Sabina Pleasance in Amazon's "Alex Rider" series, but Netflix's Regency drama has been a major breakout for her. After such a stellar performance, Chandran should be a staple of the industry for years to come. She looks a bit older in real life than she does as Miss Edwina, which makes sense given the notable age gap between the actor and the character.

Rupert Young (Jack Featherington)

"Bridgerton" Season 2 brings a new face to the Featherington household in the form of Lord Jack Featherington, a distant cousin of Lady Portia's late husband, Archibald Featherington. Jack quickly gets into trouble by soliciting money from the ton's elite for his failing gemstone mines in America, despite knowing that they're worthless. He also has a somewhat bizarre romance with Lady Featherington herself, though she ultimately plays the situation to her benefit — the family needs the money, and if Jack has to lie to the ton about his mines being profitable, so be it.

Cousin Jack is brought to life on "Bridgerton" by Rupert Young, who's perhaps best known for playing Sir Leon in the BBC historical fantasy series "Merlin." Young's other TV credits include shows like "Doctor Who," "Doc Martin," "Foyle's War," and the original version of "Shameless." He was nominated for an Olivier Award for his performance in the West End production of "Dear Evan Hansen." He looks very similar to Jack Featherington in real life, though he usually opts for a simple black neck tie over a cravat.

Shelley Conn (Mary Sharma)

Shelley Conn plays Lady Mary Sharma in "Bridgerton," the mother of Kate and Edwina who first enters the story in Season 2. Mary is something of a background figure in the story because Kate takes up most of the family's societal responsibilities, but Conn does an excellent job of adding dimension and intrigue to the character through her physical acting in particular. An outcast from her own family, Mary has a lot of skeletons in the closet to sort through when she returns to England, giving "Bridgerton" fans yet another deeply textured character to fall in love with.

Conn's TV resume is lengthy and impressive, with notable roles in shows like "Terra Nova," "Mistresses," "Liar," "The Lottery," and "Good Omens." On the big screen, she's appeared in films like "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Ripley Underground." In general, Lady Mary is styled in a more understated way than the other ladies of the "Bridgerton" ton. As such, Conn doesn't actually look too different in real life, rocking a simple but elegant look.