Category: Press Archive

‘Bridgerton’ Star Phoebe Dynevor is Breaking Through

L’OFFICIEL’s February 2021 digital coverstar offered a smart candor to Daphne Bridgerton on Netflix’s hit show, navigating themes of gossip, sex, and high society. What’s next for the young, fashionable Phoebe Dynevor? The world, of course.

Even in an era of on-demand escapism and serial streaming, it’s difficult to imagine a more talked-about series in recent memory than Netflix’s Bridgerton. Arriving on Christmas Day from executive producer Shonda Rhimes and based on the bestselling Julia Quinn novels, the Regency period romantic drama proved to be as beautiful as it is bingeable. By late January of this year, an estimated 82 million households worldwide had streamed the sumptuous, pastel-saturated eight-part production.

The show’s first season (a second was recently greenlighted) centers around one very alluring pair of young lovers, Daphne Bridgerton, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and the Duke of Hastings, portrayed by Regé-Jean Page. The two actors bonded early on, getting to know one another between rehearsals and fittings, increasingly aware that they might also soon become household names. Nabbing a Netflix Shondaland show was a big deal, and they were jumping into it head first together. “We had a similar sort of background, a similar history of working. Really, we were at the same level,” Dynevor tells L’OFFICIEL over Zoom. “We knew that this was going to do the same thing for both of us. And there was a pressure behind that and we were both nervous.” Whereas Page had worked with Rhimes before, appearing in legal thriller For the People, the young actress was best known to audiences for the American sitcom Younger and British television series like Snatch, The Village, and Waterloo Road.

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Phoebe Dynevor: The World’s Favorite Duchess

Are they in love in real life? That’s all anyone wants to know if they’ve seen the Regency romp Bridgerton and the sizzling scenes between Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne and Regé-Jean Page as the rakish Duke of Hastings. ‘I’d love to say there was really something between us,’ Phoebe smiles in a way that suggests she means it. ‘But no, it has always been strictly professional. There was so much pressure on us to get it right that it was all about the work. We have a really professional working relationship. I’m glad for that, actually. It would be very complicated if it went further.’

On-set romances are fine while everything is good, but hellish if you fall out. ‘I always hear about people falling in love with their co-stars. It’s yet to happen to me, but I’m intrigued.’ I’m grateful for the honesty of her answer, because there’s been a huge amount of interest in this beautiful young pair. Rumours suggest there is more to their chemistry than acting, but each has been enigmatic about this until now. ‘People really root for us. We have to say we’re actors, we’re doing a job, there is something to be said for not spoiling the magic… but at a certain point you have to say “no”.’

So that’s put things straight. Phoebe is bright, charming and disarmingly direct, but as we talk I can’t help feeling she’s only vaguely aware of what a massive star she has suddenly become.

Bridgerton has hit the number-one spot in 83 countries – including the US, India and Brazil – since it went up on Netflix in December. In fact, it is the biggest series the streaming service has ever had, with 82 million households around the world tuning into the show in its first 28 days online.

‘Nothing has changed in my life,’ says the 25-year-old actor who moved back to stay with her mum and dad in Altrincham, Greater Manchester, at the start of the recent lockdown. ‘I’m still at home arguing with my brother about the washing-up and doing jigsaw puzzles with my dad. It’s very surreal, because I know something’s going on but I can’t really see it.’

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Phoebe Dynevor Is Figuring Out Life After ‘Bridgerton’

When over 63 million households have seen your show, life is going to change. That’s just a fact. But for Phoebe Dynevor, lead of Netflix’s hit series Bridgerton, it came a critical time. The 25-year-old was considering a break from acting when she booked the Shonda Rhimes-produced drama about the highs and lows of the Regency-era marriage market.

Now when she scrolls on Instagram, she might come across a Saturday Night Live star’s viral impression of her character, Daphne. She’s asked constantly, including by this interviewer, increasingly bizarre questions like, “What does your costar Regé-Jean Page smell like?” A casual weekday stroll to the farmer’s market results in multiple articles on massive celebrity sites like The Daily Mail and The Sun.

“It’s weird, isn’t it?” Dynevor says as we chat over Zoom about the overwhelming success of the series, hours after news broke that a second season is a go. “In my head, no one knows who I am so nothing has changed.”

That’s true to some extent. Dynevor, who has been living with her family in Manchester, England through quarantine, tells me she still doesn’t get recognized on the street by fans. But again: 63 million households. The impact of that number isn’t lost on Dynevor, even if it’s all a bit hard to comprehend while in lockdown.

So, how is she navigating what can only be described as a breakout role? And what’s next? Read on.

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Phoebe Dynevor: ‘Bridgerton’s Come at a Moment When People Need it’

It was the gift you never knew you needed, and might even have spurned if you had been offered it in advance: an eight-part Regency romance, set in a candy-coloured England where the wisteria forever blooms around the colonnades of pretty much every stately home you’ve ever seen on film.

But it’s estimated that 63 million viewers around the world will have tuned into Bridgerton in its first four weeks on Netflix – and it is a success owing, in no little part, to the on-off love affair between a brooding duke and the pearl of the season’s debutantes. In its on phases, this is so steamy and intimate that you’d do well to have one of the series’s many feathered fans to hand.

For Phoebe Dynevor, who plays Daphne Bridgerton to Regé-Jean Page’s heart-stopping Duke of Hastings, it has meant keeping a quick hand on the fast-forward at her family home in Altrincham, near Manchester, where she retreated when lockdown came into force just a month after the end of filming. “I’m happy for Mum and Dad to see it, because they know the industry, and they know how hard I worked, and how much it meant to me getting that role. But not my grandparents,” she says. “And with my younger brother… well, it’s awkward.”

It’s a dilemma that might have confronted the very family-oriented Bridgertons themselves, had the dowager and her eight offspring found themselves confined to their mansion in the TV era – except that in their male-dominated household, the spirited Daphne would probably have had to punch her brother in the face to get the remote control off him. She certainly has form with her fists.

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15 Secrets About Bridgerton

Have you binge-watched Bridgerton yet?

Spoiler alert if you haven’t! For the rest of you who devoured all eight episodes of the Netflix series after its Dec. 25 premiere and are currently contemplating what to do with the rest of your lives, the answer is: Perhaps it’s time for a rewatch. But this time, with an insider’s guide to all the secrets and Easter eggs that you missed in the hit historical romance drama.

Bridgerton is produced by Shonda Rhimes’ production company Shondaland and is based on a book series written by Julia Quinn. The show is set in the early 19th century Regency London and has been celebrated for its diverse cast, intriguing story lines, elaborate sets and costumes, and, oh yeah, lots of hot sex scenes.

And while it is a period drama, Bridgerton incorporates elements from today’s pop culture, weaving in instrumental versions of songs from the likes of Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande, and also pays tribute to styles made famous by the likes of Beyoncé.

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