Jonathan Bailey is earning raves for his role as Anthony Bridgerton in Shonda Rhimes’ new Netflix period drama “Bridgerton”.
What viewers may not realize is that while his character is straight, Bailey himself is openly gay. In a new interview with Digital Spy, the 32-year-old actor discusses why, even though straight actors have long played gay characters onscreen, the opposite scenario is still seen as a rarity.
“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,” he said.
“And also, there’s a reason why gay characters are so interesting. Because much like the women in Bridgerton, there are a lot of hurdles and there’s a lot of self-growth, and there’s a real strength to gay men,” he added.
This is why, Bailey explained, casting gay actors to play gay roles can add even more depth to a performance.
“So the fact that a lot of straight men have gone on to play iconic gay roles and to be lauded for that is fantastic, that that story is being told,” Bailey continued. “But wouldn’t it be brilliant to see gay men play their own experience?”