Taking over the spotlight! Phoebe Dynevor is one of many breakout stars of Netflix’s Bridgerton, but the role wasn’t her first foray into the acting world.
Dynevor portrays the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, Daphne, who makes her debut into high society and hopes to find a prominent man to ask for her hand in marriage. She cooks up a scheme with aloof bachelor Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, but the pair eventually develop feelings for each other. Before their convincing chemistry made viewers swoon, Dynevor and costar Regé-Jean Page worked hard to nail down their intimate bond.
“We spent so much time together; we were also staying at the same hotel, which was quite funny to see each other for breakfast. We had a lot of rehearsals, and then we rehearsed together on our own,” the British actress told Elle magazine in January 2021, describing the six weeks of prep she spent with Page before filming began. “By the time we got to set, we knew each other really well, we had spent a ton of time together, so we weren’t getting to know each other as filming went on. … I think that made us both feel really comfortable.”
While Bridgerton fans might not be familiar with Dynevor’s other work, she already had a steady list of credits before joining the Shondaland project. She landed her first role in 2009, playing Siobhan Mailey in the fifth season of the BBC’s Waterloo Road, and continued to appear on a handful of other popular British series, including The Village and Dickensian. However, the road to success wasn’t always easy for the U.K. native.
“For the last 10 years of my life, I’d been going up for every single part under the sun,” Dynevor told Glamour UK before Bridgerton‘s Christmas Day debut. “When you watch people’s success, you don’t see all the letdowns. But the rejection makes you tougher. I really appreciate all the ‘no’s’ that I’ve had in my life because I wouldn’t be sitting here today [without them].”
Though some of the rejections were “tough” to deal with, Dynevor is proud to bring Daphne to life in the Netflix hit. “She has strength and courage to do what she thinks is right, follow her heart and not listen to anyone else’s opinion,” she said of her character’s coming-of-age arc.
1. Showbiz Is in Her Blood
Phoebe’s mother, Sally Dynevor, became a household name in the U.K. thanks to her long-running role on Coronation Street. Her father, Tim Dynevor, is a BAFTA-nominated writer who worked on another popular British TV series, Emmerdale Farm. Growing up, the budding Netflix star paid plenty of visits to her parents’ sets. “I loved that,” she told Express in 2014. “I was always really interested in what was going on, watching the cameramen and stuff.”
2. She Nabbed a Recurring Role on ‘Younger’
Before Bridgerton launched her further into the spotlight, Phoebe joined Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff as Clare on TV Land’s Younger from 2017 to 2019. She previously worked alongside Rupert Grint in Crackle’s crime comedy series Snatch.
3. She’s a Bookworm
The Waterloo Road alum frequently shares book recommendations with her Instagram followers, posting excerpts from some of her favorite authors for daily inspiration.
4. She Picked Up a New Skill From ‘Bridgerton’
Not only did Phoebe study the stylized language and history of Regency-era London to prepare for the Netflix series, but she also learned how to ride a horse sidesaddle. “There’s a scene where Daphne has to jump on a horse and quite quickly get somewhere, and I really pushed for her to be riding astride as opposed to sidesaddle,” Phoebe told Elle in January 2021. “I thought that wouldn’t be like her — when something quite desperate was happening, she wouldn’t be sidesaddle.”
5. Dance Rehearsals Helped Her Bond With Costar Rege-Jean Page
Phoebe and Page spent six weeks working on their chemistry before portraying Daphne and Simon’s love story on-screen. To help them get into character, the duo got together for extra dance rehearsals after hours. “There’s something about the waltz in particular, where one person leads and the other follows, that helps you get in tune with each other,” the actress told Elle in January 2021. “We rehearsed only with modern music. … That was really fun because it brought us to the present day and made it feel more relatable. And we were singing our favorite songs and got to dance to our favorite songs.”
© Meredith Nardino