Jonathan Bailey: 'Fellow Travelers' Diversifies Post-'Bridgerton'



by ZAIN UL ABEDIN

Jonathan Bailey: 'Fellow Travelers' Diversifies Post-'Bridgerton'
© Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Jonathan Bailey, catapulted to fame as the dashing male lead in Netflix's hit series 'Bridgerton', is now embarking on a path that diverges notably from his previous work. The actor, who captivated audiences with his portrayal of Anthony Bridgerton, is poised to make a significant impact with his latest project, Showtime's 'Fellow Travelers'

Set against the backdrop of America's mid-20th century, 'Fellow Travelers' is a romantic period drama that traverses through critical historical moments, including the McCarthy-era communist trials and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

In a recent exclusive with PEOPLE, Bailey revealed his decision to star alongside Matt Bomer in this groundbreaking series was a clear-cut choice. At 35, Bailey's career trajectory embodies versatility and purpose. His involvement in 'Fellow Travelers' is particularly notable as it marks a departure from traditional roles to a more nuanced portrayal of a gay character in a profound love story.

“This ticked every single box," Bailey stated, "It's a project I know will be a hallmark in my career”.

Bailey's Artistic Evolution

Bailey's journey, from his commanding role in Shonda Rhimes's Regency-era drama to choosing 'Fellow Travelers', underscores a broader commitment to diversity and storytelling with depth.

This transition from awaiting roles to actively selecting them is a testament to his growing stature in the industry and highlights the changing dynamics of an actor’s journey in modern cinema. Emphasizing the rarity and privilege of his position, Bailey acknowledges the responsibility it entails.

Born in Benson, England, to Stuart, a managing director at a honey supplier, and Carole, who juggled multiple jobs, Bailey's early life was marked by his family's unwavering support. Their sacrifices included funding his and his three older sisters' dance and music lessons, fueling his artistic inclinations.

Bailey, who grappled with his sexual orientation from the age of 11, found solace in the world of theater and the unwavering support of his family and closest friend. This personal journey deeply informs his approach to his roles, infusing them with authenticity and emotional depth.

As 'Fellow Travelers' readies for its premiere, Bailey stands at the forefront, not just as a celebrated actor but as a figure representing change and inclusivity in Hollywood's narrative landscape. His choice of roles speaks volumes about his dedication to stories that resonate with authenticity, diversity, and a deep sense of human connection.