All About The Cast of 'Bridgerton', Shonda Rhimes' Steamy New Netflix Series

Savannah Walsh
·9-min read
All About The Cast of 'Bridgerton', Shonda Rhimes' Steamy New Netflix Series


The second that an orchestral version of Ariana Grande's "thank u, next" plays in Bridgerton's first episode, viewers know to throw all expectations out the window. The series, the first of Shonda Rhimes's landmark Netflix deal, subverts period drama tropes left and right, despite its 1813 Regency London setting.

Based on Julia Quinn's bestselling romance novels, Bridgerton tells the story of Daphne's (Phoebe Dynevor) search for a suitable husband. But what begins as an annual custom for "the ton" quickly becomes a lesson in bucking tradition. In order to avoid an arranged marriage, Daphne strikes a deal with the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page) so both can forego love under a microscope.

Their plan gives way to a sprawling cast of characters, including Queen Charlotte, the scheming Featherington sisters, and a mysterious narrator voiced by Julie Andrews. The series, conceived by showrunner Chris Van Dusen, injects its characters with a welcome dose of modernity. “The show is so engaging—not only do you see yourself in it because it's diverse, but also, it's telling stories that are so relatable in the 21st century,” Dynevor told “It's lovely on the eye but also touching on all the themes that are so relevant today."

Watching all eight episodes, which dropped December 25, can also begin to feel like an elaborate game of Guess Who. To help clarify the chaos, here's a guide to the main players in Netflix's Bridgerton—and where you may have seen the actors before.

Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton

Many of the corseted happenings of Bridgerton orbit around Daphne's quest to find true love—or at least, a husband. This tireless search leads her to Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and an arrangement that leaves them free to live their lives without the pressure to couple up for real. Daphne is played by 25-year-old British actress Dynevor, who's best known for playing Irish game developer Clare on Younger. She's also starred in the BBC drama Waterloo Road and the series Dickensian as Martha Cratchit.

Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset

If the ton elected a most eligible bachelor, the Duke of Hastings would win every year. In order to prove Daphne's eligibility and avert eyes from his singledom, Simon strikes up a pseudo-romance with our leading lady. But this marriage-weary character begins to feel real emotions for Daphne, complicating things for everyone involved. The dashing Simon is played by 30-year old Page, who recently starred in Sylvie's Love and appeared on ABC's courtroom drama For the People and 2016's History revival of Roots.

Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte


The well-connected and gossip-loving queen is played by Rosheuvel, who has appeared in Lady Macbeth, Luther, and Silent Witness during her illustrious career. Queen Charlotte is one of the rare characters who is inspired by a real-life figure: the queen and wife of King George III is even believed to be one of the first Black British royals.

“Queen Charlotte really opened up the world and afforded us this completely different side of St. James’s Palace to explore,” Van Dusen told “We have the most amazing, sprawling cast that is diverse, not just in terms of ethnicities, but also the levels of recognition for certain people who are better known than others.”

Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury


Simon's mother-like figure. Lady Danbury, is played by Andoh, best known for roles on TV shows including Doctor Who, Silent Witness, and EastEnders. Andoh is also an accomplished stage actress and regularly narrates audio books, including The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah.

Ruth Gemmell as Lady Violet Bridgerton


The matriarch of the Bridgerton family is Violet, played by Gemmell. Violet is tasked with matchmaking for all eight of her children while maintaining her own standing in society circles. Gemmell is best known for various British series, including Silent Witness, Utopia, and Home Fires. She also appeared on Showtime's Penny Dreadful and led the 1997 rom-com Fever Pitch, which would later be remade into an American film starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon.

Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton

One of the younger Bridgerton sisters is Eloise, as played by 31-year-old Jessie. Marriage is the thing perhaps furthest from Eloise's mind, as she races to track down the identity of Lady Whistledown and explore her own personal whims. Prior to her Bridgerton breakout, Jessie starred in 2016's Their Finest, 2018's Vanity Fair miniseries, and 2019's BBC series Defending the Guilty. She's also appeared on episodes of Doctor Who, Lovesick, and Call the Midwife.

Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton

Aside from Daphne, Anthony is the other Bridgerton sibling with the most pressure to marry. As the eldest (and makeshift patriarch) following his father's death, it's Anthony's responsibility to secure his own wife while helping his sisters find spouses of their own. The character is played by Bailey, 32, who won an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his performance in Company on the West End. Bailey has also appeared in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Broadchurch, and Crashing.

Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton


Benedict is the second of the Bridgerton sons, an artistic soul who is far more focused on his career ambitions than finding a wife. Thompson, 32, plays the role after appearing in the British comedy Misbehaviour and Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. He's also an accomplished stage performer, co-starring in King Lear and A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare's Globe as well as Hamlet alongside Fleabag's Andrew Scott.

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton

The youngest Bridgerton brother is Colin, a gentle soul who falls for the mysterious Marina Thompson while quietly winning the affections of Penelope Featherington. Colin is played by 23-year-old Newton, who is primarily known for Disney Channel's musical series The Lodge. He's also flexed his singing talent onstage, performing in The Book of Mormon on the West End.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington

The spirited wallflower of the Featheringtons is Penelope, the youngest of the sisters and best friend to Eloise. She's played by 33-year-old Irish actress Coughlan, who most viewers will recognize as Clare on Derry Girls or Hannah on Harlots. Penelope, who harbors secret feelings for Colin Bridgerton, leans into the traits that separate her from the rest of Regency London.

"She's got a really rich inner life," Coughlan told "She truly is very sweet and kind and open and hopeful. But then, she comes from this family that is really acerbic and tough and quite bitchy. There's the nature/nurture question that I had to think about. There has to be a level of that Featherington that's in her."

Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson

Perhaps no character harbors more secrets than Marina, a simple country girl and distant relative of the Featheringtons who makes a mark with her debut in society. Marina is played by newcomer Barker, an actress best known for her work in the series Wolfblood and Doctors. Next up, she'll star in the indie film How to Stop a Recurring Dream.

Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington

The eldest of the Featherington daughters is Prudence, a debutante who has struck out twice on the marriage market before her third go in season 1. Unlucky-in-love Prudence is played by 27-year-old Carter, who is best known for roles in 2012's Les Misérables, the Starz miniseries Howards End, and The Good Liar alongside Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen.

Harriet Cains as Philipa Featherington


The third of the Featherington sisters, Philipa, is played by 27-year-old Cains. Prior to playing the perennial bachelorette, Cains appeared in episodes of In the Flesh, Safe House, and Marcella.

Polly Walker as Portia Featherington


The puppet master pulling the strings of her daughters' dating lives is Portia Featherington. She's played by Walker, who has appeared on shows including Rome, Mr. Selfridge, and Pennyworth. Walker also has several big-screen credits, including Patriot Games, Clash of the Titans, and 1996's Emma, in which she plays Jane Fairfax.

Ben Miller as Lord Archibald Featherington

The patriarch of the Featherington family is played by Miller, a British actor who has appeared in Johnny English, Paddington 2, and The Prince and Me. He also co-created and co-starred in the sketch series The Armstrong and Miller Show before playing Rupert Murdoch on Tracey Ullman's Show.

Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix

For those wanting all the royal dirt, look no further than Drysdale's Genevieve Delacroix. Genevieve is a modiste (or dressmaker) who clothes everyone whose anyone in the ton. This isn't 39-year-old Drysdale's first brush with royalty onscreen; she plays Meghan Markle on the spoof series The Windsors and co-starred alongside Reese Witherspoon in 2004's Vanity Fair.

Freddie Stroma as Prince Friederich

The German royal and nephew of Queen Charlotte is played by 34-year-old Stroma, who is best known for Pitch Perfect, Unreal, and as Cormac McLaggen in the Harry Potter series. The prince's romantic intentions for Daphne don't exactly pan out in Bridgerton's first season, but in real-life, Stroma has been married to his Unreal co-star Johanna Braddy since 2016.

Sabrina Bartlett as Siena Rosso

The ambitious opera singer Siena is played by 29-year-old Bartlett. You may recognize her from roles in the History series Knightfall and Victoria, a PBS series about Queen Victoria. Bartlett has also appeared in season 6 of Game of Thrones and season 8 of Doctor Who.

Jessica Madsen plays Cressida Cowper

One of Daphne's main foes on Bridgerton is the manipulative Cressida, who often competes with her for high society's most eligible bachelors. Cressida is played by Madsen, who has appeared in Rambo: Last Blood, Leatherface, and Dark Light. She's also an accomplished photographer who often shares her pictures on Instagram.

Julie Andrews as Lady Whistledown

Julie Andrews is to Bridgerton as Kristen Bell was to Gossip Girl—the all-knowing narrator who guides us through the dishy series. Andrews is gossip columnist Lady Whistledown, a character whose true motives aren't unveiled until the season 1 finale. The actress herself doesn't need to be unmasked—she won an Oscar for Mary Poppins and has made her mark in films including The Sound of Music, The Princess Diaries, and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Andrews is also an accomplished author, who published her latest memoir Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, in 2020.

Watch Bridgerton on Netflix

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